Brexit: Holyhead lorry backlog plan in case of no-deal

Lorries parked on deck of a Stena Line ferry to Dublin from Holyhead, with an EU flag imposed in the background Image caption 400,000 lorries use Holyhead port every year – one of the major routes to Ireland from Wales

Land in Anglesey could be turned into a parking site for lorries in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The contingency plan, led by the Welsh Government, has been drawn up in case Holyhead port is unable to handle traffic after the UK leaves the EU.

It comes as MPs are expected to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The two sites on Anglesey are at the Roadking truck stop, near Holyhead, and land adjacent to the Mona airfield in the centre of the island.

The plan has been drawn up amid concerns that additional border checks in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March could lead to traffic problems at Welsh ports connected to the Republic of Ireland.

In order to avoid disruption in that scenario, the UK government has said that it would minimise checks or simply waive through trucks from EU countries, such as Ireland.

However, the EU has said it would impose full controls on people and goods entering the EU from Wales and the UK.

Image caption Land next to Mona airfield has been earmarked by officials as one of the sites for waiting lorries

On Monday, first minister Mark Drakeford told the assembly’s Brexit committee there was a “risk that that will create a backlog so that lorries that are destined for the republic will not be able to leave Wales.”

In order to deal with a potential backlog, Mr Drakeford said “there is space that can be used” at ports in Pembroke Dock and Fishguard – but “Holyhead is not in that position”.

He added: “So, there are, at a civil contingency level, discussions going on at Holyhead about what alternatives could be made…to make use of land that is not in the ownership of the port.

An Anglesey council source has told BBC Wales that the plan is to use Holyhead’s capacity of roughly 600 lorries in the first instance before using 200 or so spaces at the Roadking truck stop on the outskirts of the town.

If more space was needed, then lorries would be diverted to Anglesey Agricultural Show’s park and ride facility next to the Mona airfield.

The source said: “Beyond that, you’re looking at more sites in the private sector.”

Image caption George Watson said customs in any port would cause “havoc”

One truck driver from Ireland,

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