The Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch Road and Water Infrastructure Agency responsible for managing traffic around port terminals, are completing the final phase of their Brexit preparations. Buffer parking areas have been created in Rotterdam and IJmuiden for trucks not ready to cross the border into the UK.
Preparations for the upcoming Brexit are particularly evident on the roads around Rotterdam and IJmuiden.
The regions, port authorities, customs and inspectorates, are all working hard to make freight transport as smooth as possible in future. This is extremely important because, thanks to our carriers, important goods arrive at their destination, also in the times of the coronavirus pandemic,” comments Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management.
Despite actions taken by the Rijkswaterstaat in cooperation with customs, port and ferry operators, police and local authorities, disruptions may occur in ferry terminals after 31 December. Even if there is a trade agreement with the United Kingdom.
These preparations are intended to minimise delays due to additional customs formalities in port terminals offering connections to the UK. That is why extensive traffic plans have been drawn up for 6 ferry ports, where problems are expected early next year, reports Dutch transport portal transport-online.nl. This involves Hoek van Holland, Europort (two ports), Rozenburg, Vlaardingen and IJmuiden.
No documents? This leaflet will help
The Dutch have already prepared temporary buffer parking lots for truck drivers who do not yet have their papers in order on their way to the UK. There is also an information campaign where, through posters, leaflets and signs over motorways, drivers are asked to prepare for trouble-free delivery to the UK.
If, however, it turns out at the ferry terminal that the driver does not have the appropriate documents, he will receive a leaflet (available in 8 language versions), which is a kind of entrance ticket with a given route to the assigned buffer parking lot. While in the buffer parking lot, truck drivers can contact their customer or transport organiser to arrange the formalities necessary to continue the route.
Stopping in the buffer parking lot for 24 hours
All buffer parking lots for trucks are fenced, guarded and illuminated, and contain both sanitary and catering facilities. According to the RIVM (the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) guidelines, parking areas are cleaned regularly and drivers are informed in several languages of the regulations in force, including the rules on special security measures required due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Parking there is free but drivers may spend a maximum of 24 hours there to prepare documents. After that time, the driver should move to another commercial parking lot or continue his journey.
According to the Dutch, a sufficient number of buffer parking spaces have been prepared. Apart from temporary parking lots in the vicinity of the ferry terminals, in the event of increased traffic, additional spaces located further away from the port terminals have also been provided.
Parking lot locations
In Hoek van Holland, where the ferry terminal is located, there is a buffer parking lot for about 200 trucks. In Maasdijk, a municipality in Westland, the Rijkswaterstaat has set up a buffer zone for about 24 trucks. In Vlaardingen, on the DFDS site, a total of 80 parking spaces for trucks were created. The parking lot in Vlaardingen at the Waterleidingstraat will soon provide similar number of parking spaces.
The largest parking lot was built at Moezelweg at the Port Authority in Rotterdam. It will accommodate some 280 trucks. The location is easily accessible from the A15 motorway, both from the east and west.
Another parking lot was built at Zandvoortstraat in IJmuiden. It offers space for 45 trucks.
Photo credit @ Wikimedia Commons