Update (1st November 2018):
From Monday 5th November, services between Stranraer – Ayr / Kilmarnock / Glasgow will return to normal. However, local Ayr - Girvan services will continue to be replaced by bus.
Update (17th September 2018):
Scaffolding started going up around the building from Saturday 15th September. This will facilitate works intended to address the major structural issues and reduce the extended exclusion zone. This will allow greater access for the safe passage of trains (including those with more than four coaches) and passengers, and the reinstatement of services to stations south of Ayr. Contractors will operate 24 hours a day, and the works are expected to be completed by the middle of October, subject to progress.
Further information can be found on the Council's dedicated Ayr Station Hotel page: https://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/station-hotel/
Ayr Station Hotel Update
I know a great many of you are concerned about this very unfortunate situation. I raised it in a question in the House on 24th May, and have since corresponded with the Secretary of State for Transport further to ask what help the Government, via Network Rail, can give to finding a resolution.
The Station Hotel is a beautiful building, part of Ayr’s character and heritage, and I am keen to see it preserved if at all possible. However, the outcome of the structural survey commissioned by South Ayrshire Council will be pivotal in finding a way forward.
I know that South Ayrshire Council is taking what action it can given the building’s owner is not, as I understand it, in any meaningful communication with them, and they may also consider a Compulsory Purchase Order if the owner remains unresponsive to the Dangerous Building Notice served upon him.
However, as the situation is unlikely to move as swiftly we would all hope, I have written again to the Secretary of State to ask if consideration could be given to the suggestion raised by Councillor Martin Dowey to set up a temporary station at the ScotRail depot off Carrick Road, just south of Ayr Station (known as the Townhead Depot). This would be in a similar manner to the temporary station set up in Workington to restore travel during the Cumbrian floods of 2009, and would allow a regular service to towns south of Ayr to be reinstated. The reduced capacity north to Glasgow also cannot go on indefinitely.
I realise there are logistical, access and safety questions to be considered, but I am hopeful that these could be resolved with cooperation between Network Rail, Transport Scotland, ScotRail and South Ayrshire Council. I will keep you updated.