Holyhead Port: calls for more UK Government aid

UK Government ministers are being urged to provide extra support to two ferry operators at Holyhead Port.

Anglesey Council says the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has had a severe operation on the day-to-day running of both Stena Line and Irish Ferries. Both operators have already curtailed some services.

The council’s leader, Llinos Medi, has written to the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, and the Welsh Secretary of State, Simon Hart.

In her letter, she said: ”Whilst we are acknowledge the emergency support measures announced over recent weeks by both UK and Welsh Governments, we are concerned that the needs of Holyhead Port are not being met.”

Cllr Medi has asked Mr Shapps to give the matter ”urgent consideration” and hopes ”that a support mechanism can be agreed soon” to help the port during ”these unprecedented times”.

The county council said both Stena Line and Irish Ferries remained committed to ensuring critical freight passes through the port. The Irish Government has already provided temporary financial support measures for its strategic maritime connections.

As a result of the outbreak, Irish Ferries has suspended all swift sailings while Stena Line is only allowing foot passengers on its evening and overnight crossings. Other services are not affected.

But Cllr Medi called for more financial support to bridge the gap between a drop in income and running costs of maintaining the route between Dublin and Holyhead.

The port, the second busiest in the UK, sustains more than 400 direct jobs and hundreds more through its supply chain. Over a million vehicles pass through the port each year.

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