Details of the Brexit-related Traffic Management Plan for Dublin Port and Dublin City have been announced by the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, and Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton TD.
These contingency plans will be in place from 1st January, 2021, to mitigate the impact that Brexit-related traffic congestion may have on Dublin Port and the potential knock-on impacts on Dublin City (particularly the Port Tunnel and motorway system).
Overview of the Traffic Management Plan
These plans have been formulated by the Traffic Management Group, chaired by the Department of Transport, which includes representatives of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), Dublin City Council (DCC), An Garda Siochána (AGS), Office of Public Works, Revenue Commissioners and Dublin Port Company (DPC). The Traffic Management Group was established to develop and undertake the contingency responses necessary to deal with potential congestion at the port and surrounding areas.
The traffic management plan is based on a colour coded Traffic Light System: Status Green, Status Amber, Status Red and Status Blue with associated communication plans and mitigation actions which are built on cross-organisational cooperation and response.
There will be a hierarchy of interventions by relevant agencies based on the level of congestion impacting on Dublin Port, the Port Tunnel, city roads and M50/M1, this includes:
- Enhanced traffic spacing at the northern Dublin Port Tunnel entrance
- A queue management system for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) on M50 Northbound approach to M1/M50 Junction and on M1 southbound (see figures 1 and 2 attached)
- Additional HGV parking capacity at motorway service area’s on the M1 (both northbound & southbound).
- Off-line Emergency HGV Parking
- Turn-around facility at Tunnel Slip to Dublin Port (Promenade Road) (see figure 3 attached)
- Assistance of An Garda Siochána and motorway service operators
Traffic conditions in the Port and the adjacent roads including the Port Tunnel will be actively monitored and communicated via the DPC’s Ports Operation Centre, TII’s new combined Motorway and Tunnel control room and dedicated incident room, along with the DCC’s Traffic Control Centre. This will ensure that the Status in which the Port is operating is continually monitored and will provide the information necessary to trigger implementation of any phased traffic management response measures required.
Minister Ryan commented: “No matter what happens in the ongoing Brexit negotiations, there will be major changes in how we do business with the UK from January 1st This traffic management plan, which is the result of close collaboration by many different agencies, is designed to deal with any congestion that may arise due to increased level of checks at Dublin Port and to minimise the impact on the Port tunnel, nearby motorways and the rest of the city. We know that Brexit is a challenge for our hauliers, and thank them for their cooperation in ensuring they have the correct documentation to enter the port and that they follow the alerts and signage provided.”
Minister Naughton added: “Many are worried about possible impacts on their business. But there will be profound changes in how we conduct business and each sector of the supply chain must mitigate the risks within their own control. Importers, exporters, hauliers and logistics companies will have to examine and adopt new ways of doing business. We are asking all port users to be aware of the fact that there is potential for congestion and to pay attention to new signage that will be in place to guide traffic through any imposed diversions.
Information to drivers will be disseminated via various channels and we ask that drivers familiarise themselves with these channels and stay tuned for regular radio updates on Dublin City Council’s Live Drive.”
The ultimate aim of the traffic management plans is to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the flow of movement in Dublin Port and surrounding city, which can only be achieved if all stakeholders undertake to prepare to the best of their ability.
Ministers Ryan and Naughton are also calling on all Hauliers, Transport Companies and Port users to be alert to following –
New customs and other regulatory control procedures
Hauliers will not be able to board ferries to and from UK from 1st January 2021, unless all necessary documentation has been completed in advance and properly presented. Familiarisation with the appropriate regulatory requirements required for import and export controls is an essential component to facilitating a smooth flow of trade. It is recognised that a large administrative burden will arise for those trading with the UK from 1st January. Therefore, all stakeholders are encouraged to engage before the new year with the relevant State agencies who are more than willing to provide assistance and guidance in relation to these new processes and procedures.
Hauliers may be subject to checks by State agencies on arrival by ferry into the Port. Information on which hauliers will be subject to checks and which will be free to exit the Port directly will be available 30 mins before the ferry docks. Signage will be in place to guide hauliers to the appropriate State compound or to the Port exit.
Be aware of potential congestion and traffic diversions
All Port users should be aware of the fact that there is potential for congestion and to pay attention to new signage that will be in place to guide traffic through any imposed diversions. In the event of high levels of congestion, traffic management contingency plans will be activated and will apply to all vehicles.
Stay alert to congestion updates
Information to drivers will be disseminated through various channels. Drivers should stay tuned for regular radio updates on Dublin City Council’s ‘Live Drive’ radio station (103.2FM) and national broadcast updates. Information on congestion will also be sent out via national websites, including;www.dublinport.ie; www.dublintunnel.ie; www.hgv.ie (DCC website) and social channels such as @DublinPortCo, @TIITraffic and @GardaTraffic.