Brexit cannot affect traffic on major roads in/out of Port of Tilbury

Published: 09 October 2019

Brexit cannot affect traffic on major roads in/out of Port of Tilbury
As the Brexit deadline draws closer, many have addressed concerns to Essex County Council that major roads in/out of ports in Essex must not be effected in the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit. Having been urged to ensure that many commuters’ routes to work are not impacted in the wake of October 31st, Essex County Council elaborated on some of the procedures they plan to carry out to ensure the public roads are not congested due to the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Some of the main roads of concern include the A120 and A12 linking to Harwich, along with the A13 – an important route for those looking to access the Port of Tilbury. 

Among those key links raised for particular note by councillors discussing how the council is preparing for Brexit included the A120 and A12 links to Harwich and the A13, which is an important route to and from the huge London Gateway port at Tilbury.

Tilbury holds more than 90% of cargo heading to and from non-European destinations. Councillor Andrew Sheldon spoke on the preparations he is leading for the council during Brexit, reassuring the public that the traffic will continue to flow on the A13, even considering the extended roadworks currently taking place.

He stated: “There are extensive road works going on the A13 that partly fall under ECC, partly fall under Highways England and partly under Thurrock, to widen the A13 to help cope with the increased capacity of the port.

James Abbott, Councillor and Green Party member, gave his thoughts on the matter:  “I am concerned about us being too optimistic over the knock-on effects of ports. It is sensible and a good thing to have the preparation in terms of trade readiness. But have any scenarios been looked at especially the A12 and A120?”

He continued: “If we did have significant problems with ports and particularly the A120 on the approaches to Harwich, I’m thinking of lorries parked up in laybys, queues.

“Even if it is short-term has the council got plans for management of traffic?”

Mr Surtees gave his views, saying: “I can’t comment on the specific issue of the A13 but what I can say is that there is the awareness of the need to manage roadworks which are in place. We do have a different nature of port at Thames Gateway. The focus has been on the roll on roll off ports because of the very quirk turnaround you are expecting.
He concluded: “Thames Gateway is predominantly container traffic therefore a different operation in which containers are offloaded, moved and then cleared through. There has not been a national focus on container ports as potentially having the type of disruption as there might be with roll on roll off.”

While it has been implied there will be implications for Brexit on a nationwide scale, there is also the question of how it will impact local areas and communities – with trade taking place on a daily basis, how will a change in the procedures for the movement of international goods stall the movement of goods in/out of the area of the Port of Tilbury.
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