Reassurance over 'worst case Brexit’ planning for Scunthorpe

Emergency Brexit plans that could see the M180 and Glanford Park used as a holding area for lorries and huge volumes of traffic directed through Scunthorpe have been revealed. The plans for a ‘worst case’ Brexit scenario outline how supplies could kept moving to and from northern Lincolnshire’s ports in the event of severe delays. In an extreme case, two lanes of the M180 would be used to hold lorries with the majority of traffic directed through Scunthorpe along the A18.

However, North Lincolnshire Council leader Rob Waltham has said he does not believe it will come to that.

Tactics from ‘Operation Stack’ in 2015 could be used for the M180 in the worst case scenario after a no-deal Brexit

“We have to plan for every eventuality, and there is bound to be some disruption in the event of a No Deal Brexit,” he said. “However, effective plans are being are being put in place by professionals who are experienced with managing risks. The government has put a large amount of funds into local resilience funds to prepare for circumstances like this, and the councils are all around the table discussing the measures.

“I struggle to see how the worst-case scenario could happen with the plans that have been put in place. This outcome is less likely than we think. It shows how it is all the more important to get behind a Brexit deal and avoid all of this, particularly as so many people in northern Lincolnshire voted to leave in the first place.”

Reassurance over 'worst case Brexit’ planning for ScunthorpeCouncillor Rob Waltham has said all eventualities are being planned for post-Brexit

The measures are the third phase of Operation Wellington, which aims to mitigate any potential delays in North Sea crossings by keeping Immingham, Grimsby and Hull ports uncongested.

Alan Bravey, the secretariat to the Humber Local Resilience Forum, unveiled the plan this week to freight handlers. Phase one would aim to stop drivers arriving at the ports and causing further congestion, while the second would see strategically located car parks used as a “relief valve” for HGV traffic. Scunthorpe United’s Sands Venue Stadium has been earmarked for holding 75, with 350 potentially being parked at the Walton Street facility in Hull.

Reassurance over 'worst case Brexit’ planning for ScunthorpeScunthorpe United’s ground Glanford Park has been identified as one emergency Brexit lorry park

The last-ditch measure would see a single lane option for the three-lane carriageways initially, moving up to full closure with Highways England diversions for non-port traffic and staffed filters for abnormal, dangerous and livestock loads.  Two lanes would hold traffic, with a relief lane for emergency services and welfare. In this scenario, the traffic would be diverted through Scunthorpe along the A18.

Mr Bravey said: “National planning models and Department for Transport analysis suggests it is unlikely there will be disruption, based on driver readiness – people being reasonably prepared for customs when arriving at terminals. But we plan for the worst and hope for the best case, and we have traffic management in place. “If we have ferries delayed on the continent, that means subsequent delays for the UK.

Phase one is to get the message out, for drivers to stay at the point of origin or at truck stops, and that’s really important. If we get that communication out rapidly and people can respond and adapt we should be able to avoid any queuing at the port gates. We do not want people arriving for ferries who are not going to be sailing for 16 hours.

Reassurance over 'worst case Brexit’ planning for ScunthorpeDelays at ports in a ‘worst case scenario’ Brexit could have a severe impact on the road network

“There’s absolutely no suggestion at all it will be necessary to go to phase three.

With phase three, if we really, really need to, we have got the option to stack vehicles on the motorway, but in a different way than to Kent. This is planning for the worst situation, there is no indication we need to do it, but if we have to do it we have plans in place.” Government created a GBP10 million pot for Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity, part of a GBP30 million kitty that includes the local resilience forums and longer term projects.

Andrew Byrne, the managing director of DFDS Seaways UK, said that planning was important to prevent bottlenecks and delays. “The speed of terminal operations is key. If we see things slowing down we will back up fairly quickly.

You only have to go back one kilometre and it is the same access and egress as Killingholme. It will bottleneck and become a problem. We are trying to prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” he said.

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