September 2019 – Effects of No Deal Brexit on the Transport Industry- Worst Case Scenario

Recently the Government published a Yellow Hammer report on the worst case scenario in case of No Deal Brexit. The report lists some of the key issues Wallace School of Transport’s corporate clients are likely to face including:

  • 50-85% of HGV’s travelling via the short Channel Straits may not be ready for French customs
  • Lack of trader readiness combined with limited space in French ports to hold “unready” HGVs could reduce the flow rate to 40-60% of current levels
  • The worst disruption might last up to three months before it improves by a significant level to around 50-70%
  • The disruption would cause significant queues in Kent
  • In the worst case scenario, HGVs could face delays of 1.5 – 2.5 days before being able to cross the border. There could be queues of up to 8,000 trucks. Currently, vehicles wait at the port for around two minutes.
  • HGVs that are caught up in the congestion in the UK will be delayed in returning to pick up another load and some companies may not be willing to transports goods to UK
  • Temperature controlled products would face particular issues, especially medicines
  • Transporting fresh food could also be a major issue
  • Regional traffic disruption “could affect fuel distribution” within the local area, “particularly if traffic queues in Kent block the Dartford crossing, which would disrupt fuel supply in London and the south-east.
  • Road Haulage Association (RHA) managing director for policy and public affairs, Rod McKenzie, said the cited delays would be “crippling” to sections of industry
  • Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the transport and travel workers’ union TSSA, echoed his call, suggesting that the Transport Secretary Mr Grant Shapps, and the government were “either in a state of utter panic or unwilling to face the reality of a no deal Brexit on our transport sector”.
  • The government has also announced additional funding for the Operation Brock contingency plan to tackle congestion in Kent, which will contribute towards setting up Manston airport as a lorry holding facility, implementing border readiness
  • The Department for Transport has taken fresh action to help hauliers prepare for Brexit with the launch of a multi-million pound awareness campaign on 9 September. The project will set up 150 “pop-up advice centres” in ten countries, with messaging supported by an advertising campaign on billboards and media. Hauliers will also be provided with a handbook and pocket guide with details of how they can prepare, in order to assure continued free travel. The pocket book is available in electronic form on the government website, in several languages.

Ruth Wallace of Wallace School of Transport hopes that a Brexit deal is agreed soon so that we all know where we stand, ending years of uncertainty.

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