Inland Border Facility alarms local Councillors

December 14, 2020 12:00 PM

Site of former Shearings interchange (foreground)The potential impact of the Inland Border Facility on the Barleycastle Trading Estate at Appleton Thorn is ringing alarm bells with local Councillors.

Construction work is taking place almost round the clock to get the site ready for operation from 1st January when the UK leaves the EU trading bloc.

jwheelerAppleton Liberal Democrat Councillor Judith Wheeler says:

We have visited the site to talk to local businesses who will now have to share the surrounding road network with the facility. Despite ongoing discussions with HMRC, we have no clear answer as to the projected numbers of lorries visiting the site each day. Figures vary from around 700 lorry movements to almost double that number. This would be 24/7 and 365 days a year.

There are several other logistics businesses on the estate, plus the Eddie Stobart headquarters. Many of those are 24/7 as well and the road they will all use, Barleycastle Lane, is very narrow with no room currently to let two HGVs pass each other. It is a recipe for traffic chaos. One breakdown or accident will bring the whole area to a standstill.

SharonHAppleton Liberal Democrat Councillor Sharon Harris adds:

If there is an incident on one of the motorways surrounding the site, traffic will use the surrounding roads. We have real concerns that the lorries using the site are coming to and from the ports of Liverpool and Heysham so will be constrained by driving hours, timings for the ferry crossings and the need for consignments to be delivered on time.

The race from port to site and back will be a real challenge and that must be managed. Queuing on local roads and parking up in cul-de-sacs waiting to get on site is not an option. Drivers have already had their hours increased and the House of Lords has expressed concerns about lack of toilet facilities for drivers who may be stuck in jams.

This is just one example of how the UK is not ready for the expiry of the Brexit transition period. The impact on local residents and businesses will be huge. We are pressing for as many mitigation measures as possible to relieve impact on local roads and residents.