UK urged to keep Dover route

Port of Dover Port of Dover's Richard Christian: “There is no substitutable capacity elsewhere that can handle the type and volume of goods that the Port of Dover does." Credit: Port of Dover
Industry Database

The Port of Dover has warned that a UK Government proposal to divert Dover-bound shipments elsewhere in a no deal Brexit scenario would face capacity and efficiency problems.

Speaking after the Government suggested sending food exports to the Netherlands and Belgium via ports along the east England in Essex and Suffolk, rather than Dover to France in a bid to avoid potential security checks in Calais and delays at Dover if a Brexit deal wasn’t struck, the port’s head of policy and communications pointed out that the port is unique in its capacity and is “the closest and most efficient crossing to Europe.”

Richard Christian stated: “There is no substitutable capacity elsewhere that can handle the type and volume of goods that the Port of Dover does.

“Dover is the closest and most efficient crossing to Europe, handling up to 180km of freight daily. Diverting a bit of Dover’s traffic elsewhere would still leave the majority of important UK and EU ‘just-in-time’ goods held up if Dover becomes subject to delays.”

Stressing that the current main shipping route is more logical than any proposed alternatives, he added: “Government and industry focus should remain on maintaining the fluidity of this vital cross-Channel link and the livelihoods that depend on it, rather than diverting attention to less efficient routes for traffic that relies on the speed and frequency of service only possible from Dover.”

The plans follow concerns that planned lorry waiting parks will not be ready in time for March 2019.

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