By Dan Walsh
There is a setback for ferry sailings between Rosslare Europort and Fishguard Harbour in Wales with the announcement that the MV Stena Europe, which usually runs between Fishguard and Rosslare is being relocated to the Holyhead – Dublin route to cover for another ship undergoing repair and will last for up to 10 days in the coming weeks.
A report in today’s edition of The Pembrokeshire Herald newspaper quotes the company saying “that the decision not to provide alternative cover between Pembrokeshire and Ireland is due to a lack of ferry capacity as additional services are being laid on to meet the demand of transporting goods directly between the Irish Republic and continental Europe.
It is pointed out that Irish hauliers are bypassing Welsh ports to avoid Brexit bureaucracy.
The number of lorries using ferries between Holyhead and Dublin, and Fishguard and Rosslare, has dropped by 50% since the start of 2021.
Stena Line said it was a “blip” and it would work hard to protect the routes.
Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart MP, said: “There is some evidence that things aren’t looking necessarily, permanently bleak. It’s one of those areas where we have to keep a very wary eye on it, but I think and hope that it is a temporary dip in the graph.”
Baroness Eluned Morgan, Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and the Welsh Language, said; “Usually, Stena Line provides cover for the service between Fishguard and Rosslare when the normal ferry is not in service. This latest decision on the back of cancelled sailings last month is very concerning. We’ve seen as a result of the pandemic and the massive impact of Brexit slashing trade between Wales and Ireland that our ferry services have been left in a vulnerable position.”