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Former station hotel update

NEWS UPDATED

The remainder of the tower and half of the northern section of the building at Ayr Railway Station is set to be taken down as part of ongoing safety works.

The works are expected to take a total of 9 weeks, which means they should be completed by 17 June 2024.

The decision comes following the conclusion of a number of structural inspections on the tower and northern half of the building.

These inspections have revealed extensive fire damage to supporting structural elements, which means these parts of the building can't remain without serious risk to public safety.

The Council's Building Standards team will now instruct contractors to continue their safety works at the north of the building, extending the use of powers under section 29 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 to protect the public and surrounding infrastructure.

At the trackside of the building, the walls will still need to be removed by hand in order to protect the railway, however at the Smith Street side, machinery will be used to speed up the operation.

Councillor Martin Dowey, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: "I am pleased we now have a way forward. Given the extent of the damage to the northern section, we need to put public safety first. This means that the tower and half of the northern section of the building needs to come down.

"I know that this has been a frustrating time for rail users and the travelling public, and it's always been our priority to work with partners, Network Rail and ScotRail, to get the station operational again as soon as possible. Removing most of the brickwork means our safety works will be complete and our partners will be able to make progress around the reopening of the railway station.

Simon Constable, Operations Director for Network Rail Scotland, said: "As soon as it is safe to do so, our engineers will inspect our infrastructure for any damage caused by the fire and we will re-open the railway as soon as we can for our customers."

David Lister, ScotRail Safety & Sustainability Director, said: "ScotRail welcomes the news that we now have a timeframe for South Ayrshire Council completing the work, and it will bring us a step closer to restoring services for customers. 

"When the buildings are safe, and Network Rail have inspected the railway lines as safe to operate on, we will be able to start the process of reintroducing our trains on the route.

"Until then, we are doing everything we can to help keep customers moving, which includes providing buses for the Scottish Grand National next weekend."

Safety works to the former station hotel building have been taking place since the extensive fire in September 2023.