Health chiefs worry over impact M275 Brexit traffic will have on staff

Lorries on the M20 near Ashford in Kent, during Operation Stack. There are fears something similar could happen on the M275 in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Lorries on the M20 near Ashford in Kent, during Operation Stack. There are fears something similar could happen on the M275 in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
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HEALTH bosses have raised concerns about the impact of the M275 lorry traffic due to Brexit will have on staff getting to and from work.  

Members of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups met yesterday to discuss the plans for the UK's exit on October 31.

Managing director of Fareham and Gosport and South Eastern Hampshire CCG Sara Tiller said: ‘It is important to note we have a specific risk in this area because of Portsmouth International Port and the traffic which could have an impact on services in the city.

'Particularly for us in this area we have identified staff getting in and out of work because of the traffic as a potential issue. All the staff are aware of relevant arrangements and there are plans for management to work out of different offices if needed.

‘Given that it is very unclear, all the planning that could be done has been done.’

Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire’s Local Resilience Forum have warned that more needs to be done in Portsmouth to ensure that there is not gridlock if a no-deal Brexit goes ahead, and have previously taken issue with the government’s traffic modelling system, saying that it only looked at the number of lorries on the roads and had not counted normal everyday traffic coming in an out of Portsmouth – and as such, was underestimating potential problems.

The council will hold a triage point at the park and ride for paperwork to be checked. Trucks that have the correct paperwork will be allowed to progress to the port, while others will be send to a holding point for 40 lorries at Tipner. About 500 lorries use Portsmouth International Port every day, meaning that there is potential for queues to cause traffic disruption. 

The movement of the EU exit date has also raised eyebrows due to it coinciding with the beginning of winter pressures.

Ms Tiller added: ‘It is heading into winter and it is half term. The change of date is an issue.’