Brexit: Parking lorries at Dublin Airport considered to avoid traffic jams

Department looking at parking sites for HGVs as part of no-deal Brexit planning

The Department of Transport is exploring whether it can park lorries at one of Dublin Airport's long-term car parks to avoid possible traffic jams on routes into Dublin Port after Brexit.

As part of the Government’s contingency planning for the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal at the end of next month, the department is assessing parking sites for trucks and other heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in case there is congestion on the M1, M50, Dublin Port Tunnel and around the port.

Growing fears about the UK leaving the EU without a deal has led to concerns about the knock-on effect of Customs delays for trucks boarding ferries to Britain on traffic around Dublin city centre.

Traffic congestion

EU regulations prohibit the build-up of traffic in a tunnel, which in the event of Brexit-related traffic congestion heading to the port, would force the closure of the tunnel and a need for alternative routes.


One solution being considered under the Government’s no-deal contingency planning could see lorries being held at a parking site, at the airport or elsewhere away from the city. HGVs would then be released to avoid a build-up of traffic on the main routes around the port until congestion eases.

Dublin Airport manages long-term parking at sites near the junction of the M1, north to Belfast, and the M50 ringroad around Dublin, about 5km from the northern entrance to the tunnel.

The airport’s operator, DAA, said it was contacted by the department late last week to see whether its long-term parking could be used to hold lorries heading to the port should there be congestion from new border and customs checks for vehicles heading to UK-bound ferries post-Brexit.

“We will respond in due course,” said a DAA spokesman.

Contingency plans

The department said that it, along with other departments, was undertaking a range of contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit and that one of the plans was assessing the potential impact on traffic around the city “particularly in the area of Dublin Port, Port environs, the Port Tunnel and M1/M50.”

“A number of sites are being considered as parking areas for HGVs should one be required, including a site at Dublin Airport, and the department is contact with DAA on this,” said a spokeswoman for the department.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which manages the M50 and the port tunnel, said it was working with “relevant stakeholders” on planning for a no-deal Brexit and that it would “do our part to assist where we can.”

Dublin City Council has previously said that the ban on HGVs passing through the city centre would only be lifted due to Brexit-related delays at the port “in exceptional circumstances”.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times