HMRC back in for Holyhead truck stop with workers told jobs going for a second time
Roadking workers in Holyhead have been told they have lost their jobs for the second time after HMRC came back in for the site to build a new customs post following Brexit. Last year Business Live revealed that staff at the truck stop had been told their jobs were going due to plans by UK Government to buy the site for a customs facility. This fell through following a backlash over the jobs and concerns about the return of the problem of parked trucks in the town and around the island.
It is understood they have since struggled to find an alternative site for the 200 jobs customs facility.
Now Roadking workers have now been told for second time that they are losing their jobs - with 24 staff affected. A company source said Brexit had badly impacted the site with a drop in HGVs using the facilities, which helped make the decision to sell. They added that they wanted to help the port and knew the customs facility was vital to its future.
A worker at the meeting said that HMRC told workers there would be opportunities for them at the new site, which could bring up to 200 roles.
Ynys Mon MS Rhun ap Iorwerth criticised the HMRC for a lack of communication. A Roadking spokesman said: "It was a decision brought about by circumstances that were not of our making. It was a commercial decision as we have seen a fall in traffic following Brexit.
"Business was at record levels until the end of the year despite Covid but sadly it has fallen off." Holyhead has seen trade hit by freight being diverted to other routes - including from Liverpool to Belfast and also additional direct Ireland to EU mainland sailings. An HMRC spokesperson said: "HMRC are close to finalising the acquisition of the site that will serve as the North Wales Inland Border Facility in Caergybi/Holyhead, having reached an agreement to purchase the current Roadking site on Parc Cybi.
"Subject to planning approval, the site will work alongside the Welsh Government's proposed Border Control Point and will support the flow of trade through the Port of Holyhead. "The opening of this facility by HMRC is expected to bring more than 200 new jobs to Ynys Mon."
Welsh Government plan to build a separate Border Control Post on a plot at Parc Cybi for checks on goods such as animals, plants and products of animal origin entering Wales. Exports to the EU from Britain have been subject to controls since January 1, but the UK Government decided to opt for a phased approach on EU imports to give hauliers and businesses more time to adapt.
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This was later delayed again from July this year to January 2022 as Border Control Post infrastructure is not ready for the checks to be carried out.
Rhun ap Iorweth said: "There appears to be a total lack of communication from HMRC, and I'm seeking urgent clarity.
People's jobs are at stake, and these are decisions that affect the local community.Rhun ap Iorwerth MS for Ynys Mon (Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency)
"Whilst I've argued that new facilities should be based close to the port, keeping any employment opportunities local, there are many other questions that need to be answered, not least what happens to the truck stop facility itself, which is very valuable to Holyhead.
"Yet again, the lack of preparation for post-Brexit customs infrastructure is still causing problems."