Feature, Freight News, Sea

Relief road to transform Heysham’s prospects, says ro ro boss

[ October 26, 2016   //   ]

Chief executive of Irish Sea freight  ferry operator Seatruck, Alistair Eagles says the opening of the new £124.5m Bay Gateway relief road in Lancaster, is the biggest commercial opportunity for the Port of Heysham in its history.

The opening, on 31 October would unleash the port’s potential to win more Irish Sea traffic, he predicted.

“A large percentage of Cairnryan’s tonnage drives past Heysham on the M6 as it originates in the North of England and the Midlands, a journey of 176 miles which takes more than three hours,” he said.

In preparation for the new road, Seatruck has added the 105 trailer Clipper Point to its daily Heysham-Dublin route increasing annual capacity by more than 25,000 extra spaces a year. She will join her two sister vessels Clipper Pennant and Seatruck Panorama which already operate between Heysham and Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland.

Mr Eagles said the Bay Gateway is also a platform for Seatruck to raise awareness of its unaccompanied truck operation.

“Seatruck has long believed that the future of Irish Sea freight is to free up drivers,” he said. “HGV drivers are becoming harder and harder to find. Seatruck is challenging the traditional model of short sea crossings from North Wales and Scotland with drivers staying with the trucks to offering a more efficient alternative. Our operation offers hauliers the option of drivers dropping off the truck and then instead of being stuck on the ferry they can go on another job. This maximises driver time on the road and a scarce resource.”


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