Signage has been put in place today (Friday, 18 December) to advise drivers of possible delays on the A55 at Holyhead from 1 January when the EU Transition period comes to an end.
A temporary contraflow will be put in place on the A55 between junctions 2 to 4 from 28 December as part of the Welsh Government’s contingency plans to keep disruption to the absolute minimum, while continuing to allow access to the port as well as allowing the local community to move freely.
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 won’t be able to enter the port.
All HGVs turned away from the port will be directed back to the temporary contraflow at junction 4 on the A55 where they will join the westbound carriageway to either be redirected to other sites off Junction 2 to be stacked while they sort their paperwork, or if there is no space on these sites they will be stacked here as a last resort.
Discussions are on-going to use Roadking as a stacking site and work is already underway on Plot 9 Parc Cybi so that it can also be used as a stacking site from mid January onwards.
It is expected that the number of HGVs being turned away will reach its peak by the middle of January.
While the contraflow may cause some delay for travellers, not having a contingency plan in place for HGVs would cause more disruption and inconvenience as those turned away from the port would be looking for a place to park such as lay bys and local roads.
Minister for Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said:
“Our contingency plans are aimed at keeping any disruption to the port and local communities of Holyhead and Anglesey to the absolute minimum.
“While we have projections of how many HGVs may be turned away in the first weeks at the end of the EU Transition, none of us have been in this situation before. The responsible and necessary thing to do is to be prepared and review our plans regularly.
“Signage is now up to advise drivers that there may be delays from 1 January onwards. We expect the peak to be around mid January but we would advise travellers and the local community to check traffic updates from the 1st in case of any disruption.
“We will keep these plans under regular review and as soon as it’s clear we can safely remove the temporary contraflow we will do so.”
The reasonable worst case scenario published by the UK government highlights that 40% to 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.