New railway station for Ayr to replace historic hotel stop
A new station is set to be built in Ayr town centre to replace the historic railway stop once housed in a crumbling hotel.
ScotRail staff have been working from portable cabins for months after Station Hotel was declared unsafe.
The erection of a new station has been described as "urgent" by national agency Transport Scotland.
The future of the Victorian hotel is uncertain while a structural report on the building is finished.
With nearby Burns House being demolished in upcoming months the whole square at the top of the town will be transformed.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: "There is clearly an urgent need to build adequate station facilities at Ayr station, one of ScotRail's busiest.
"Ideally, this should be linked to plans for the Station Hotel, Burns Statue Square and soon to be demolished Burns council office building. We stand ready to provide further support and guidance as this plan progresses."
South Ayrshire Council leader Douglas Campbell said there was an "opportunity to have a modern railway facility in Ayr."
But he said a range of options were being considered with nothing ruled in or out.
Next steps will include the council sharing the structural report with a specialist taskforce group, which was set up to deal with the crisis at the station building. The report on the state of the hotel is due at the end of the month.
The Transport Scotland spokesman said : "Returning full rail passenger services to Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway as quickly and safely as possible was the key initial priority.
"We created a taskforce to make sure that appropriate measures were taken and to provide the necessary financial support to make the building safe in order to allow the line to continue to be used.
"The focus now is on ensuring that any long-term plan contributes to the economic prosperity of the town centre and communities south of Ayr."
Story provided by local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley.