The ports industry has welcomed the launch of UK government’s new Port Infrastructure Fund as part of the preparations for life outside the European Union. The scheme will enable ports in England, Scotland and Wales to bid funding for capital projects for infrastructure that will be used to accommodate new customs and border process in 2021.
Commenting, Richard Ballantyne Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, which represents ports that facilitate 86% of our trade including all the UK’s main roll-on roll-off gateways, said:
“We welcome this fund and the focus on preparing port infrastructure for what will need accommodate a significant change in our trading relationship with the EU. It’s clear that without support there would not be the capacity to deal the new customs and borders requirements. We therefore welcome this scheme which importantly will be open to all port operators across Great Britain.
The clock is definitely ticking and a lot of work still needs to be done but this will help overcome a significant hurdle. We will continue to work with government to help shape a border strategy that works for the UK’s freight sector.”
Although open to all types of ports it is expected that Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) operators will have the the most interest in applying to use this scheme. This sector has the most to do to adapt to new requirements which will come into existence when the EU completes the Brexit transition period. Indeed how new controls are placed on the 10,000 lorry and trailer movements a day between the UK and Europe is critical to avoid traffic disruption.
As well as representing more than 400 ports and terminals across the UK the BPA also includes all the main Ro-Ro operators including facilities at Dover, Fishguard, Holyhead, Hull, Immingham, Liverpool, Newhaven, Pembroke, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Purfleet and Tyne, as well as ports facilitating domestic traffic between GB and NI.