COMMENT: Government’s last-minute revelation not good enough
With just about a month to go before the UK is due to leave the European Union it is a bit late in the day for the government to now reveal that the likely traffic problems with lorries trying to get to the city’s port are predicted to be significantly worse than first thought.
And Portsmouth City Council is right to be concerned.
The authority has been saying for months that the build-up of traffic could bring the city’s roads to a standstill in the event of a no-deal Brexit but the Department for Transport’s stance has up until now been one of ‘everything would be fine’.
The correct paperwork seems to be at the heart of the government’s latest ‘revelation’.
The port handles on average 500 lorries each day and the Department for Transport is predicting 75 per cent of drivers will now turn up without the necessary paperwork to board ferries.
And with the council being pro-active in the first place in building a holding point for 40 lorries at Tipner, that means 350 to 400 lorries could be clogging up the roads leading into the city, resulting in the possibility of the closure of the M275.
Any jams on roads has also raised concerns among health bosses who fear the impact could be huge on staff getting to and from work, not to mention the worry of whether there will be a short supply of medical supplies.
As with most of the Brexit process to date with what is likely to happen there have been varying views and scenarios presented to the great British public.
But until October 31 comes, or whatever date that might end up being, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.
It beggars belief that three-plus years since the referendum took place it has taken until the eleventh hour for the government to spring the increased traffic bombshell on the council.