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A temporary contraflow on the A55 between junctions 2 – 4 eastbound will be in place from today as part of the Welsh Government’s contingency plans for the end of the EU Transition period.

First published:
28 December 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The plans are aimed at minimising any possible disruption to the port, town and wider community. 

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 reasonable worst case scenario published by the UK Government 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 need to be in place by the end of the Transition period on midnight 1 January.

All HGVs turned away from the port will be redirected back to the contraflow to turn off at Junction 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.  

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.