Several sites across Hull have been identified to hold Britain’s fifth Brexit ‘lorry park’ to deal with congestion caused by the UK’s exit from the EU.
According to Hull Live, an area 17 acres large on Humberside is being allocated out by ministers as an ‘inland port’ and would receive funding from the £500 million set aside to boost Britain’s border infrastructure after Brexit.
Although the official site is yet to be named publicly, there are rumours it could be built in the Humber Bridge car park, which is currently being used as a drive-in coronavirus testing station.
This comes as four sites in Kent have been mapped out to host lorry parks aimed at easing traffic travelling through Dover port.
In a letter, the paymaster general Penny Mordaunt said: ‘Intense engagement is now underway with ports and we are beginning to speak to local authorities about potential inland sites.
‘I would like to emphasise that final decisions on inland sites will not be made until we have established the extent of new infrastructure capacity at ports.’
An assessment by the Humber Local Resilience Forum two years ago into the regional impacts of Brexit found that roads and ports would be overwhelmed by congestion as a result of a Brexit, regardless of a deal being struck or not, and identified two areas for lorry holding centres.
In July, Hull and Goole Port Health Authority expressed dismay at the government’s lack preparedness for Brexit while one Labour councillor described it as a ‘shambles’.
Almost all of the 150 million kilos of food imported through the Humber ports every year destined for wholesalers and retailers across the UK come from the EU.
Labour’s Brexit spokesperson Rachel Reeves said the creation of a vast ’emergency lorry park’ in Kent to hold up to 10,000 vehicles waiting to travel to Europe would be ‘bad news for British businesses who have already gone through a terrible time’.
Reeves said: ‘The prime minister said just a couple of months ago that a trade deal would be secured by the end of July. Well we are now at the end of July, we don’t have a trade deal, all we have is a blueprint for a giant lorry park in the middle of Kent.
She warned that businesses were headed for ‘serious frictions over trade with our nearest neighbours’.
‘It is bad news for the British businesses who have already gone through a terrible time in the last few months,’ she added.