Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters has today responded to the UK Government’s announcement on support for ferry services and routes which does not include the vital route between Dublin and Holyhead.
Across the UK ferry operations and the ports which facilitate them have been badly hit by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and Holyhead is no exception.
The ferry route between Holyhead and Dublin is a vital link, transporting critical goods, such as food and oxygen supply for the NHS, for the UK mainland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. As the second busiest roll on roll off ferry port in the UK it plays an essential role in the economy of North Wales and further afield.
Given its importance, particularly at this time, it is absurd to wait until a route is no longer commercially viable before taking action
It is unacceptable, inexplicable and irresponsible that the Port of Holyhead has not been included in the UK Government’s announcement.
I along with my counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland have been pressing for weeks how essential it is that the UK Government recognises the importance of this route and that action is taken to secure the critical supply chains so vital to us weathering this crisis. I know Anglesey Council have also been in touch with the UK Government about this.
I have again written to the UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today to press the case for Holyhead. We should not be waiting for routes to fail before stepping in. We need to act now and act quickly.
This is a vital route of strategic importance critical to the economy of North Wales. I call on the UK Government to reconsider their decision and urgently take action to include Holyhead in their plans.