Airfield earmarked to become emergency lorry park for Cairnryan

A former military airfield had now been earmarked as the preferred option be transformed into an emergency lorry park to cope with post-Brexit delays at Cairnryan.

Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 12:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 12:09 pm
There are fears there will be delays at Cairnryan is the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal

Transport Scotland confirmed it was in discussions with the Stairs Estate to use the Castle Kennedy Airfield.

It’s use could become necessary if there are long delays for vehicles waiting to cross from Scotland to Northern Ireland should the UK not agreed a trade deal with the EU by December 31.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “While we still need clarity from the UK government on the terms of exit, including the requirements for checks on goods moving from GB to NI, at this stage we do not expect a significant increase in traffic or delays at Cairnryan.

“Nevertheless we have been engaging with ferry operators who have assured us that they have capacity to cover increased demand on the Cairnryan/Larne routes.

“We have also worked with local resilience partners to develop a contingency plan in case of traffic disruption at Cairnryan and are now moving to test that plan.”

South Scotland list MSP Colin Smyth accused the Scottish Government of “making it up as they go along”.

He added: “We are just days away from the end of the transition period and for Transport Scotland to say they have only just agreed a site in principle is breathtaking.

“Anyone who knows the airfield will realise the challenges of the location and the fact significant work would be needed to make it suitable.

“The whole issue is a recipe for chaos that will have a massive impact on the flow of traffic and the economy.

“These plans could and should have been developed months ago not at the last minute.”