A ferry group have revealed plans to bypass Holyhead altogether after Brexit – and left Anglesey off the map completely when making the announcement.
DFDS confirmed that it will open a new direct ferry route from the EU to Ireland in January.
The service will commence between Dunkirk and Rosslare on January 2. There will be six weekly departures from each port, doubling the current number of departures between Ireland and France at present.
When making the announcement about the new route on Twitter, DFDS forgot to include Holyhead, the port through which most Irish freight passes to the rest of the EU at the moment:
Good news: we are opening a direct Ireland – France ferry route on 2 January. This new freight ferry route between Rosslare and Dunkerque offers lorries and their drivers direct and paperless transport between EU countrieshttps://t.co/yTNBtHp1uh#dfds #Ireland #france #newroute pic.twitter.com/ufwc6AfFyQ
— DFDS (@DFDSGroup) November 27, 2020
The route will initially not target passengers, although the company says that a passenger offering may be marketed at a later stage. A spokesman said that irrespective of the outcome of trade negotiations between the UK and the EU, the new route is “here to stay”.
Peder Gellert, DFDS’s EVP and Head of the Ferry Division, said: “We are extremely pleased to offer customers in the Republic of Ireland and on the Continent the opportunity to transport their goods directly to or from other EU countries without the customs formalities, additional costs and possible waiting times that the end of the Brexit transition period will bring about for road haulage passing through the UK.”
The news comes after Irish hauliers claimed there will be “mayhem” at Holyhead port when the Brexit transition period ends.
The Irish Road Haulage Association said the first six months of 2021 would be “terrible” as the port is not ready to cope with the change.
“We’re very concerned,” said IRHA president Eugene Drennan.
“After the deadline and UK ‘Brexiting’, the decisions still won’t be made. They’ll unfold as the problems appear.
“That leads to a certain degree of mayhem. You will have time delay, you’ll have a lot of anxious moments.
“You’ll have a lot of truck people getting a little hot under the collar. You’ll have ferry times delayed and you’ll have a general upset.
“Even though it’s called a transition period, there has been no transition.
“It’s a rush now these last few weeks to try and get systems together, to try and get things up and running and though the Irish side has a reasonable degree of preparedness done, some of it is very cumbersome.