Plans are ready to be implemented to do everything possible to minimise the impact of a no deal on the port of Holyhead and surrounding area, North Wales Minister Ken Skates said today.
Holyhead is the key entry and exit point for goods into the UK from Ireland and its status as the second busiest roll-on roll-off ferry port in the UK means it provides a vital link in the supply chain for businesses across Wales, the UK and Ireland.
These plans will only come into force in the event of a no deal exit.
If a deal is reached between the UK Government and the European Union and an orderly exit can be achieved, these plans will not be required.
In the event of a no deal, goods from the UK will be treated as being from a “third country” as they enter the EU and will be subject to additional checks in Ireland, potentially causing delays to ferries and a backlog in Holyhead.
The Welsh Government has been working with partners over recent months to ensure that any disruption to the port in the event of a no deal Brexit is kept to a minimum. But there is a risk of some disruption to the normal flow of goods.
The plans will ensure HGVs can be safely stacked and allow local people and businesses to continue their daily lives with as little inconvenience as possible. They will also ensure lorry drivers have a safe, welcoming and secure place to go to, with available facilities for them.
Analysis by the Department of Transport suggests the likelihood of HGVs overflowing into the surrounding areas from the port is likely to be minimal because of the capacity of existing facilities within Holyhead Port. But contingency plans have been put together in the event of longer delays developing.
Holyhead Port can accommodate 660 HGVs; the plan will provide additional space to accommodate more if required. Under the plans announced today, and approved with partners across North Wales, HGVs will be directed to the existing Roadking services at Parc Cybi, close to the port’s entrance where 175 HGVs can be accommodated on this site with welfare facilities for drivers.
The Welsh Government has arranged for free parking for Dublin-bound freight traffics at the site under these arrangements and traffic management will be in place to direct HGVs seamlessly to the site. Additional traffic officers will be on hand to help around the clock. Road space around Parc Cybi will also be used if necessary, with space for a further 30 stacked HGVs.
In the unlikely event of all these spaces not being sufficient further contingency measures have been developed – HGVs will use the westbound carriageway of the A55 at Holyhead (junctions two to three).
This is the quietest section of the A55 and the impact on the travelling public is expected to be minimal. Under a no deal exit the Roadking and Parc Cybi options will be operational from 12 April and the A55 option can be operational from the 15 April in the event that it is needed.
North Wales and Transport Minister Ken Skates said:
“We have repeatedly called on the UK Government to rule out the threat of a no deal.
“We are just days away from the latest date at which the UK is due to leave the EU and we continue to face the threat of a no deal and the chaos it would bring.
“While it is impossible to mitigate against all the damaging impacts of a no deal Brexit, it has been our priority to work with our partners to do everything in our power to minimise the impact as far as possible on Welsh communities and businesses.
“At the forefront of our mind has been the need to keep the Holyhead Dublin ferry route open and as attractive to freight hauliers as possible.
“These plans for Holyhead have been many months in the making. We have worked with our partners, including the emergency services and local authorities to devise these contingency measures.
“These plans have been designed to ensure the impact on Holyhead and the surrounding area is minimal.
Further information about the contingency measures is available on the Welsh Government Preparing Wales website.