Welsh Government concern over ‘very low’ freight traffic at Holyhead
The Welsh Government have expressed concern over the “very low” traffic at Holyhead following the UK’s exit from the EU.
Minister for Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said that contingency plans for queuing at the port would be scaled back over the coming weeks.
“Freight levels are currently very low at the port,” he said. “ While we expected levels to be low at the start of the year, it is concerning that they continue to be reduced.
“I have written to the UK Government to ask what their plan is to reverse this situation and how they will support the communities affected.
“This situation is as a direct result of the choices they made on how we left the EU. We will be monitoring the situation very closely.”
Contingency plans put in place to protect the port and community of Holyhead will be modified gradually over the next month, he said, following a period of review and the completion of a stacking site on Parc Cybi.
66 vehicles are now able to be stacked on Parc Cybi should it be required and a further 64 spaces will be ready by mid-February.
Work to scale back the temporary contraflow on the A55 will begin on January 31, reducing by one junction so it runs from Jct 2 – 3. Over the next two to three weeks, if conditions do not change, it will be removed completely.
Minister for Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said: “As we made clear at the outset our contingency plans for Holyhead were based on forecasts on the number of HGVs which could be turned away from the port.
“To date the rate had been far lower than forecast and as the stacking site at Parc Cybi is almost complete we will begin scaling back the temporary A55 contraflow.
“I would like to thank the community of Holyhead and wider area for their patience and co-operation while the contraflow has been in place.
“I am very aware that this is a period of uncertainty but I would like to assure them that we are working hard with the port authority, ferry companies, the local authority and others to do what we can to support the port which is of strategic importance to Wales and the whole of the UK.”
Original data from the UK Government forecast a turnaround rate of between 40-70 per cent for HGVs which were not border ready. To date, that rate has been at 10 per cent or under, with the vast majority of freight having the correct paperwork.
Those HGVs turned away from the port have been managed effectively, using the systems in place, the Welsh Government said.