“We will maintain a free-flowing border” says Transport Secretary – RHA remains sceptical

20th March 2018

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling claimed on BBC Question Time that there will be no delays for lorries going through customs at Dover after Brexit. This is despite publication of a study by Imperial College which says that a two-minute check on each lorry at the port could result in 30-mile tailbacks.

Responding to an audience question – would Kent become ‘the lorry park of England’ – he said: “Absolutely not. We will maintain a free-flowing border at Dover. We will not impose checks in the port – it’s utterly unrealistic to do so – we don’t check lorries now and we’re not going to be checking lorries in the future.” The Road Haulage Association however remains sceptical.

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said: “This was a great opportunity for the Transport Secretary to explain how the Government will ensure there’ll be no delays at our ports, but he patently failed to do so. All we heard was a vague reassurance that they wouldn’t impose a system that would hold hauliers up, but didn’t say how they’d keep the borders free-flowing.

“Imperial College’s study paints a grim picture of the knock-on effects a slower customs process would have on traffic – delays would cause yet more congestion misery for people in Kent, and businesses all over the country and indeed abroad would count the cost of a less-efficient supply chain.”