Emergency lorry park planned at Scotland-Northern Ireland ferry port

Talks are continuing on plans to turn an airfield in Dumfries and Galloway into an emergency lorry park in case of post-Brexit delays at Cairnryan port.

Transport Scotland confirmed it has an agreement in principle in place with Stair Estates to use Castle Kennedy Airfield for overflow parking if traffic heading from Scotland to Northern Ireland backs up.

The Operation Overflow plan aims to assist if ferry operators at the port cannot cope with disruption caused when the Brexit transition period ends on January 1.

Queuing lorries
Queuing lorries

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “While we still need clarity from the UK Government on the terms of exit, including the requirements for checks on goods moving from GB to NI, at this stage we do not expect a significant increase in traffic or delays at Cairnryan.

“Nevertheless we have been engaging with ferry operators who have assured us that they have capacity to cover increased demand on the Cairnryan/Larne routes.

“We have worked with local resilience partners to develop a contingency plan in case of traffic disruption at Cairnryan and are now moving to test that plan.”

The transport agency said discussions continue with Stair Estates on the plan.