Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Now Scottish Government Gets Some Plans on the Table to Face Up To Brexit

Disused Port as an HGV Holding Facility
Shipping News Feature

UK – Another day, another Brexit story. Apologies to those as fed up with the subject as we at the Handy Shipping Guide are but, alas, it remains one of the most important issues around. This time, the Scottish government has laid out a series of plans, designed to shield vital imports and vulnerable citizens, as well as protect supplies of food and medicine, including converting the disused port of Stranraer into a holding facility for up to 300 HGVs.

In the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, Transport Scotland has said that temporarily holding HGVS at the port would come into effect if traffic flows between Northern Ireland and Scotland increase to a level that requires additional stacking capacity around the port.

Transport Scotland has said that it is also working with the logistics industry to explore promotion around the ability for some goods to be moved by container through existing services from Grangemouth and Greenock Ocean Terminal, as an alternative to the short straits crossings.

With doubts surrounding the entire situation, but particularly the future trading relationship between Britain and Ireland these northern ports may acquire a hitherto unknown importance. Stranraer has basically laid idle since Stena Line transferred its Irish Sea ferry services to Cairnryan in 2011.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has welcomed the Scottish government’s Brexit preparation plans, with Martin Reid, RHA Policy Director for Scotland & Northern Ireland, commenting that using the port of Stranraer to mitigate any stacking requirements is ‘undoubtedly a sensible solution’ . Reid added:

“The continued uncertainty surrounding customs requirements in the event of a no-deal Brexit, particularly around the island of Ireland would suggest that this decision is prudent. Although the ferry companies remain confident that they have capacity to cope with most eventualities post Brexit, this move by the Scottish Government is sensible.”

Photo: Stranraer has lately been used for leisure activities. In 2019 over 50 teams competed for the Scottish Coastal Rowing world championships, Skiffieworld, there.