Operation Overflow: In preparation for post-Brexit port queues, Scots airfield becomes a truck park


As a post-Brexit truck park in Scotland, an airfield has been leased to prepare for possible damage caused by the UK leaving the EU.

A lease with Stair Estates has been signed by the Scottish government, enabling Castle Kennedy airfield in Stranraer to handle up to 240 freight vehicles from Jan. 1.

The transfer is in preparation for possible congestion between the southwest Scottish port of Cairnryan and Northern Ireland for passenger and freight services.

Transport Scotland reported that the aim is “manage vehicle queues and ensure freight traffic can flow freely between Scotland and Northern Ireland without causing disruption to local communities.”

From 1 January, products entering the EU from the United Kingdom will face an immense quantity of new documents and regulations, including customs declarations, origin controls and certificates of product protection.

There are fears that this might cause trucks at ports to back up.

Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove has warned British companies and travelers of ‘bumpy moments’ as they come to terms with the latest EU laws.

He noted that when the Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31, there will be “practical and procedural changes”

The post-Brexit trade deal will be negotiated by European ambassadors at a later date.

Michael Matheson, Minister of Transport, said of the Operation Overflow programme, “Scotland did not vote to leave the EU, and we regret that we have to prepare for that – especially in the midst of a global pandemic.”

However, for the Scottish exporters and the ports themselves, the Cairnryan crossings are important and also of strategic significance for Northern Ireland, so we are taking steps to secure them.

We do not expect any major increase in traffic or delays at Cairnryan at this point, but it is vital that we are prepared for any eventuality.

“I am pleased to confirm that we have agreed a contingency plan in conjunction with the Local Resilience Partnership to minimize disruption to the local community and promote road safety.”

Transport Scotland said the contingency plan to handle the disturbance in Cairnryan, Operation Overflow, was now in effect.


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