Have your say on Brexit lorry park plan, say Lib Dems.
West Midlands Liberal Democrats from across the region are urging local residents to respond to a recently launched consultation from HM Revenue & Customs, in relation to a Brexit lorry park near Birmingham Airport.
The government is seeking to build a chain of five ‘Inland Border Facilities’ from Warrington to Kent, that will provide parking areas for Heavy Goods Vehicles. One site has been identified at Car Park 6 in Birmingham Airport with residents given 14 days to feed in their views.
The sites will be needed to provide customs and transit checks required by hauliers from 1st January 2021, after the transition period ends on the 31st December 2020. They would include facilities for checking vehicles and goods entering and exiting the site. The Birmingham site specifically is intended to have space for up to 198 HGVs, and could be needed for up to two years.
Regional Lib Dem Spokesperson Jenny Wilkinson said: “It is crucial that residents across Coventry, Birmingham and Solihull are made aware of these plans and are able to feed in their views. The Lib Dems still believe that Brexit will damage our local economy, however these lorry parks could impact local traffic, congestion, noise and air pollution, which are also important.”
Despite reassurances from the government, it is now clear that new rules when the UK leaves the EU will require additional customs and transit checks. Where there is no space at ports for new border infrastructure, the government proposes to build new inland border facilities where these checks and other activities will take place.
Letters seeking views were distributed to selected nearby local residents on Friday 16th October, however the West Midlands Liberal Democrats say they want to raise awareness of the plan due to the potential widespread impact of these proposals.
Solihull Borough councillor Laura McCarthy said: “These last-minute plans and rushed consultations demonstrate the complete lack of competence at the heart of this current government. We need to ensure local people have had a chance to have their say, many may not even know how close they live to these sites and could find out when queues of lorries stretch along our motorways.”
The Birmingham Airport Inland Border Facility would be located on land currently used as Car Park 6 at Birmingham Airport. The site lies to the south east of the airport terminal and runway and has direct access to the A45 (Coventry Road) near the intersection with the M42 at Junction 6 (J6).
Traffic impacts on the local and strategic road network are still in the process of being assessed and environmental studies in relation to air quality, cultural heritage, biodiversity and noise pollution are yet to be produced.
Former West Midlands MEP Phil Bennion said: “Boris Johnson’s ‘oven-ready’ Brexit is being shown up as a shambles. The extra cost and restriction of opportunities for our businesses is completely unnecessary. There is still time for the government to forge the close trading relationship with the EU which would allow them to scrap these nonsensical proposals.”
Anyone wishing to submit comments about the Birmingham Airport Inland Border Facility proposal, can complete a feedback form and post to: Freepost Inland Border Facilities
Details about how the inland border facility will operate can also be viewed here where you can also provide your comments on the proposals online.