Plan for parking for 500 trucks to avoid Brexit-related traffic
Officials identify sites in Dublin for lorries to park if port becomes congested by checks
An average of 2,700 lorries and other HGVs pass through Dublin Port every day. Photograph: Getty Images
The Department of Transport has identified several sites in Dublin that can be used for the parking of some 500 trucks should Brexit-related congestion block traffic at Dublin Port.
The site includes a bus and coach park operated by the National Transport Authority (NTA) at the back of the Convention Centre in Dublin’s north docklands that has space to hold about 50 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Among the other locations being considered by the department are Applegreen service stations on the M1 where trucks currently wait before heading to the port for ferries heading to the UK.
“As part of its contingency plan the department is identifying suitable locations should they be required,” a spokesman for the department said.
The NTA said that its space remained operational as a coach park, and that it was up to the department to clarify its intentions for the site in a potential Brexit scenario. Applegreen declined to comment.
Dublin Port Company and Transport Infrastructure Ireland are developing a contingency plan known as Operation Purge that will ensure that Dublin Port Tunnel remains open in the event of congestion at the port.
The aim of the operation is to send lorry traffic heading to the port back out the north-bound bore of the tunnel to avoid congestion that would result in the tunnel being forced to close to avoid standing traffic.
The port has expressed concern that traffic may become backed up at the port because multiple ferries will be arriving at the same time, State agencies may not be sufficiently resourced to deal with checks, and because importers and exporters may not have the correct paperwork in place for post-Brexit imports from the UK.
An average of 2,700 lorries and other HGVs pass through Dublin Port every day.
The department has legislative powers to bypass planning regulations should any parking areas require planning permission for rest or toilet facilities for truckers who are held up by delays at the port.