Gove Urged To Ensure 'Unfettered Access' For NI Freight

The Economy Minister Diane Dodds has written to Michael Gove urging him to ensure "unfettered access for Northern Ireland freight being transported to Great Britain through the Republic of Ireland".

It is understood the Minister decided to write the letter after Department for the Economy research revealed that at least 20% of Northern Ireland accompanied Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) traffic travels through the Republic of Ireland, predominantly Dublin Port, on its way to the Great Britain market. The analysis suggests that there are around 80,000 accompanied HGV trips made via this route on an annual basis.

Speaking about the issue, Dodds said: "We have been aware that a significant proportion of trade in goods travels via Dublin to Holyhead – particularly in relation to our agri-food sector. This route ensures that many can meet delivery slots for supermarket distribution centres.
News Image
"Until now, there had been little statistical information to back up the anecdotal evidence, however my Department recently commissioned research which revealed more details on the volume of traffic using this route.

"The National Government has committed to protect our place in the UK internal market and to guarantee unfettered access for our products. It is clear that if 20% of this trade is moving via Dublin Port to GB because it is a pragmatic measure for their business, then the commitment to unfettered access must also address this trade route.

"If nothing is done to ensure that goods moving via Dublin are treated in the same way as NI goods leaving from Belfast or Larne, then the Government is not fulfilling this promise."

The Minister has asked Mr Gove to urgently raise this matter with the Irish Government so that practical arrangements are put in place that allow for NI goods to transit through Dublin in the same manner as they would from a local port.

The research – which was carried out by Citi Logik – used mobile phone data to extrapolate freight movements. It found also that 57% of HGV accompanied crossings between NI and GB go through Belfast and 22% go through Larne. 

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

15 May 2015
Rise In NI Passengers Using Dublin Airport
The number of Northern Ireland residents using Dublin Airport increased by 52% last year. A record 864,000 Northern Irish passengers flew in and out of the airport.
25 August 2021
Proposed Introduction Of Biennial MOT Testing
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon is set to consider the potential introduction of MOT testing for cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles every two years. Currently private cars and motorcycles are first MOT tested at 4 years old and light goods vehicles under 3,500kg are first tested at 3 years old.
16 June 2021
DVA To Resume Full Vehicle Testing Services
The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) is planning to resume full vehicle testing services from 26 July, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced. The DVA has carried out a review of its current vehicle testing processes in order to return to its normal 20 minute test slot for cars and light goods vehicles.
05 December 2002
Immigration authorities discuss illegal worker trade
UK Immigration Service officials are in discussion with their Irish counterparts to identify ways of ensuring that fewer offenders gain entry to the UK via Dublin Airport.
07 December 2021
Northern Ireland Water Pleads Guilty To Pollution Offence
Northern Ireland Water has been fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to a pollution offence at Rockvale Wastewater Pumping Station. The company was also ordered to pay a £15 Offender Levy for allowing a polluting discharge to enter a waterway from Rockvale.