A new traffic system for queuing lorries has been put in place on the A55 outside Holyhead in an attempt to minimise disruption from the end of the EU Transition period.
Minister for Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said that he had been clear with the UK Government that there was a risk of “major disruption”.
From 1 January ferry operators will require freight customers bound for Ireland to link customs information to their booking and if they arrive without having done so they will not be able to enter the port.
The UK Government’s worst-case scenario for the town highlights that 40-70% of HGVs arriving at ports after the end of the Transition Period could be turned away as they do not have the right documentation.
The peak is expected in mid-January but the plans have been put in in place by the Welsh Government by the end of the Transition period on midnight 1 January.
The temporary contraflow on the A55 between junctions 2 – 4 eastbound will be in place from today.
All HGVs turned away from the port will be redirected back to the contraflow to turn off at Jct 4 and join the westbound carriageway which is reserved for redirected HGVs.
They will either be redirected to another site, or if no other site is available they will be stacked on the A55 while they arrange the correct paperwork.
Work is already underway on Plot 9 of Parc Cybi and the site due to be ready to accept HGVs by mid-January.
‘Risk major disruption’
Minister for Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said: “We need to implement these contingency plans in order to do what we can to minimise any possible disruption for the port, community of Holyhead and wider area.
“We have never faced this kind of situation before and we have a duty to prepare for the worst possible scenario. We expect the busiest time for redirected HGVs to be towards the middle of January, and it’s possible but not certain, that the first few days of January will be relatively quiet. However, we must be ready for all eventualities.
“We will keep these plans under constant review and as soon as it becomes clear that we no longer require the contraflow, we will dismantle it.
“We have been working with partners across North Wales, including Anglesey Council, on these plans. Any reviews and changes to the plans will be done in full consultation with them.
“From the outset we have been clear that the UK Government’s approach on our future trading relationship with the EU would risk major disruption in Wales, particularly at the border.”
Frequently asked questions on the plans for Holyhead are available on the Preparing Wales site.