Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Questions (394)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

394. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the capacity at Dublin Port for trucks in the event of a no-deal Brexit and trucks are subsequently subject to checks and so on; his views on whether capacity is sufficient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40517/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The CSO publish figures annually for traffic in and out of the ports. These can be found at the following link: www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/spt/statisticsofporttraffic2018/. For ease of reference the relevant tables are attached at Appendix 1.

Additionally Dublin Port publishes quarterly figures on their website. These can be accessed at: www.dublinport.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/DPC-Throughput-Statistics-Q2-2019.pdf. For ease of reference the relevant tables are attached at Appendix 2.

As you will understand, the number of units can vary greatly from day to day due to seasonal factors or day of the week. Dublin Port has an estimated daily average of 2700 RoRo units and 2000 LoLo TEUs.

Feedback from Dublin Port, as well as other Irish ports, is that they have spare capacity.

In relation to contingency plans, the Government has extensive preparations in place for a possible no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019. In its Action Plan published in July 2019, the Government acknowledged that a no deal Brexit will be highly disruptive and will have profound implications across all aspects of society. It will be impossible for the UK to maintain the current seamless arrangements with the EU across the full range of sectors including transport connectivity, trade flows and supply chains. The contingency plans in place, including in the transport sector, will mitigate but cannot eliminate the impacts of a no-deal Brexit.

The re-introduction of customs or border controls as a consequence of Brexit will undoubtedly increase transit times for all traffic travelling via or from the UK to Continental Europe, including for many Irish importers and exporters.

The three locations for which Ireland is heavily dependent on connectivity to the UK are Dublin Port, Dublin Airport and Rosslare Europort. The Office of Public Works has worked with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in delivering the required facilities for these agriculture, health and customs checks at these locations. Temporary facilities are now in place to meet the needs of these agencies. Additional staffing in Customs, Agriculture and Health have been recruited and trained to provide the necessary support and to manage the efficient movement of freight and people through these locations.

The necessary associated staffing and IT systems are also in place. Testing of the relevant IT systems is continuing. Communications with stakeholders is ongoing and will continue during October 2019.

My Department is working closely with other agencies to have appropriate traffic management plans in place in the event that there is significant congestion in Dublin Port that impacts on wider traffic flows in the surrounding Dublin road network.