Over 200 Irish truck drivers stuck at English ports due to British travel ban

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Over 200 Irish Truck Drivers Stuck At English Ports Due To British Travel Ban Over 200 Irish Truck Drivers Stuck At English Ports Due To British Travel Ban
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Vivienne Clarke

The president of the Irish Road Haulage Association Eugene Drennan has said that there are between 200 and 250 Irish truck drivers stuck at English ports trying to get to the Continent.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Mr Drennan warned that no business or trucker should attempt to move goods today unless they have a confirmed boat booking.

“Nobody, no haulier, no trucker, no factory should load a truck this morning if that truck hasn't got a confirmed boat booking to go direct to the continent and there are no boats direct to the continent this day.

“We don't have the service line. I've been calling for it all through this year and a report came out that said we had enough capacity and we were safe, well this morning rubbishes that report. We don't have the capacity and we don't have the direct lines into the mainland continent for our goods this morning.”

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Mr Drennan added that he hoped truckers at UK ports awaiting sailings into Ireland would be allowed to travel home on their respective ferries today and tomorrow.

“The ferry companies have to do their utmost to get us home and that leaves something to be desired at the moment.”

Huge queues

On the same programme Simon McKeever, chief executive of the Irish Exporters Association said that what was happening highlighted that the UK was not ready for Brexit.

Normally about 3,000 trucks from Ireland used the UK land bridge, he said, but many of his members had moved to use direct shipping routes to France.

“It's a bit early to say what the impact will be - what we do know is freight is open between the UK and Ireland but we have witnessed huge queues going into Holyhead, there was a 10 mile queue back at one stage, freight is moving between Britain and Ireland, but freight is not moving between France.

“We will have to wait to see what will happen, but the impact could be particularly detrimental in three weeks time. If this continues.

“This is a real test of Brexit OF what would have happened in the event of Brexit.

“I was listening to Matt Hancock saying yesterday "we're ready" - they're not ready - when our members talk to their UK counterparts - those companies, by and large, excluding the very large companies, are not ready for Brexit.”

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