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Displaying items by tag: Holyhead

Holyhead as Welsh towns go has had to reckon with more upheaval than most.

The largest town on the Isle of Anglesey is home to just over 10,000 people but is also one of the UK's largest commercial and ferry ports with millions of heavy goods vehicles, trucks, and tourists passing through every year.

The success of the port, which has existed in some form since 1821, is worth millions of pounds and supplies hundreds of jobs in a region which has seen deprivation levels rise. But one year on from Brexit traffic figures are worrying.

Stena Line has said trade is down 30% at its Welsh ports, which it owns and operates. In December 2020 traders and business figures in Holyhead spoke about the chaos as the hours ticked away until the UK officially left the EU.

Wales On Line has more on the startling impact of 'taking back control' on the port at the frontline of Brexit in Wales

One year on much seems still unclear. The UK is embroiled in fraught negotiations over post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland while the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made the impact of Brexit on Holyhead difficult to measure.

Further coverage of the story here focusing on the impact on the port town's community. 

Published in Stena Line

For more than 14 hours, two ferries have been stuck off Holyhead as Storm Barra prevented them from docking at the port, as NorthWalesLive reported last night.

The Stena Adventurer and the Ulysses, which is operated by Irish Ferries, sailed from Dublin to Holyhead but were unable to dock on Wednesday due to the weather conditions.

Passengers described the situation on board as some said they felt "scared" and seasick.

For more click here to include passengers from both of the ferries, that had during the sailings posted updates from their twitter accounts.

Published in Ferry

Plans to refurbish the Port of Holyhead's Breakwater amid concerns it could fail within the next 15 years has led to a consultation launched.

Investigations of the structure have identified a need for a large scale refurbishment of the Breakwater to ensure that it can continue to receive about 70% of all ferry vehicle movement between Ireland and Wales and the North West.

Since its completion in 1873, the Breakwater has been subject to considerable wave action, which has led to the movement and erosion (as Afloat reported) of the rubble mound, that supports the structures wall.

Over the coming years it is anticipated that the level of the mound will become so low that the footing of the vertical walls will be at risk of being undermined.

"Investigations of the structure have predicted that the Breakwater could fail within the next 15 years meaning a permanent solution must be found," a Stena Line Ports spokesperson said.

More from North Wales Pioneer here.

Published in News Update

A historic tall ship which ran aground on the Port of Holyhead's breakwater, according to NorthWalesLive, could still be saved as hopes have been raised. 

The 83-year-old tall ship Zebu got into difficulties on May 15 and the ship had to be abandoned, after she was grounded on the sea wall.

There were fears the vessel, which was left at a 45 degree angle, may have to be dismantled, with the masts removed earlier this week as bad weather approached.

But inspections by divers have now shown the vessel is not as damaged as previously feared.

A full statement has been put out by the marketing director, for the two-masted clipper, which said there is "a strong chance & hope from Team Zebu that she will be saved."

An investigation also found the cause of the incident was due to the anchor dragging.

For further coverage of the tallship that was bound for Bristol, click here. 

Published in Historic Boats

In Holyhead, a stricken tall ship which ran aground last week at the north Wales port's breakwater is set to be dismantled.

It is understood that the 83-year-old tall ship Zebu has been too badly damaged to be salvaged.

A crane company is expecting to remove the two masts today with bad weather forecast.

As NorthWalesLive reported on Tuesday, the rest of the dismantling work is expected to be completed next week.

"It's very sad," said Mark Francis, of Bob Francis Crane Hire. "She's a piece of British nautical history.

"There will never be another one like her built again because the skills and crafts needed are being lost."

He added: "We are taking all the rigging and the masts off to stabilise the hull. We may have to stop then until next week because of a freshening blow."

More from the newspaper here.

Published in Historic Boats

The ferry port of Holyhead has been confirmed by the Welsh Government for the site of a planned new Border Control Post (BCP).

Physical checks are required on certain goods entering the UK from the EU due to Brexit and the deal struck by the UK Government.

Further controls on imports are due to be introduced in phases this year by the UK Government.

Checks were due to be introduced in stages from 1 April and from 1 July, but most import checks have now been pushed back to January 1 2022.

Border Control Posts (BCPs), where the required physical inspections will take place, are being established across the UK.

At Holyhead inspections will be required on goods such as animals, plants and products of animal origin entering Wales from the Republic of Ireland. These checks are the responsibility of the Welsh Government and will be in place in order to ensure goods entering the UK do not pose a risk to public health, or to the spread of animal or plant diseases.

Welsh Government has announced that Plot 9 at Parc Cybi has been selected as the site for the post.

A planning consultation under a Special Development Order will begin shortly.

For much more reading on this development, NorthWalesLive reports including an image of the BCP plot site. 

Published in Ferry

Cruiseships that had used the deep water jetty at the Port of Holyhead, NorthWalesLive reports, is now receiving an upgrade that will make it more attractive for passengers and prepare it for a new use.

Work has begun on the £500,000 upgrade of the Orthios jetty at Holyhead - currently being used as a base for sea trials and training by the world’s most advanced polar research vessel the RSS Sir David Attenborough (see pic-caption too).

The upgrade serves two purposes - including getting the jetty ready to receive plastics for recycling for Orthios' Plastics-to-Oil facilities at the former Anglesey Aluminium site.

It will also benefit Welsh tourism as Orthios said it will make the jetty "more attractive" to cruise ships when the holiday industry revives.

The improvement works are being managed for Orthios by Cadarn Consulting of Anglesey.

More on this story here and the newbuild polar research ship was off the North coast of Ireland recently.

Published in Cruise Liners

Ferry operator Stena Line has placed a quarter if its dock workers at Holyhead on furlough as Covid and Brexit hit demand for services.

The ferry giant, reports NorthWalesLive, has seen a slump in trade since January 1 due to several factors.

This includes the continued impact of the pandemic on passenger numbers, trade disruption due to Brexit and stockpiling in December.

It has seen some weekend services cancelled and next week Stena Estrid (see related story) will be replaced by the smaller Stena Horizon on the route.

This has sparked fears over the long term impact on Holyhead port with a surge in trade on direct Ireland/EU mainland services and a switch by some operators to direct Belfast routes for goods to and from Northern Ireland.

Port officials remain calm about the situation with confidence that these are short term impacts exacerbated by the pandemic.

But they have taken the decision to temporarily reduce staff numbers dockside with a 25% cut in port services operators.

These workers - who help to dock vessels and the ferries to load and unload - have been placed on the UK Government's Job Retention Scheme.

Further reading here on the reality of such developments. 

Published in Stena Line

A UK parliament committee has said it is deeply concerned that no decision has been made on the location of customs facilities for the ports of Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke - with just 21 days left before the end of the Brexit transition period.

The Port of Holyhead is the second busiest roll-on/roll-off freight ferry port in the UK (after Dover) and about half of the outbound freight from Dublin Port passes through it.

The confused state of customs preparation on the UK side could result in long delays for Irish truck drivers moving goods in and out of the country.

The Welsh government has prepared contingency plans in case facilities are not ready, including a plan to stack lines of trucks along the A55, which is the main road from the port that stretches across north Wales.

From 1 January, the UK will be outside the EU Customs Union and full customs procedures will apply to goods moving between Ireland and Great Britain.

The British government has decided to introduce customs and food safety checks in three phases between January and July mainly because the computer systems to process the extra customs paperwork are not ready and the physical facilities to carry out customs checks have not been built.

In a report published today, the Welsh Affairs Committee of the UK parliament said that even with a delay on introducing full scale customs checks until July, "there is an unacceptable level of risk that facilities will not be ready in either North or South West Wales for the full introduction of border checks and processes in July 2021".

For much more RTE reports on the Irish Sea routes and associated UK 'land-bridge'.

Published in Ferry

A Welsh MP has claimed the granting of a freeport status to the (ferry)port of Holyhead could “transform” the fortunes of the town and Anglesey as a whole.

The Government, writes NorthWalesLive, has already promised to create up to 10 freeports across the UK after Brexit.

Being included in such a free port zone would mean that they would be considered to be outside of the UK for customs purposes — meaning companies could import and export goods without paying the usual tariffs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is widely reported to be planning to open bidding for towns, cities and regions to become freeports in his autumn budget.

Such reports suggest the ports would be “fully operational” within 18 months of the UK leaving the customs union and single market at the end of this year.

Virginia Crosbie, in a pre-election pledge, promised to campaign for Holyhead to be given such status which she said would “put Holyhead on the international map” as well as “unleash hundreds of new, good quality jobs” and boost tourism.

For more on the north Wales ferryport (incl. the cruise sector) click here. 

Published in Ferry
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