A dispute over capacity at Dublin Port, involving Stena Line and the Port Authority comes less than two weeks after a report was published by the government (conducted by the IMDO) which claimed there were no capacity issues.
Independent Deputy Verona Murphy has described the government as ‘clueless’ when it comes to ferry capacity.
Speaking today, Deputy Murphy has said,
“The position of Stena Line conflicts with the IMDO report. Stena Line are considering reducing capacity for trucks on their ferries as a response to congestion issues at Dublin Port.
This clearly shows that there are issues with the capacity of the infrastructure at Dublin Port. The threat made by Stena Line would see the infrastructural capacity issues translate into capacity issues on board ferries.
The solution to congestion at a Port is not to allow less trucks onto a ferry. This would slow down and further disrupt the supply chain. It would be the equivalent of trying to reduce congestion in a supermarket by reducing the number of checkouts open.”
Both Stena Line and the IMDO say there is sufficient capacity on existing routes and there is no demand for new routes.
Deputy Murphy, however, believes the findings of the IMDO report are flawed saying,
“Of course the ferry companies are going to argue against new routes if it involves increased competition. Would turkeys vote for Christmas?
The IMDO report gives an incomplete and misinformed picture of ferry capacity because they did not consult with some of the main stakeholders. They say that capacity will not be an issue. The government are relying on this misinformation to pass the buck on Brexit.
Ms. Murphy concluded,
“There will be ferry capacity issues on ferries unless the Government approach changes. Unless things change, supply chains will collapse, businesses will collapse and jobs will be lost.”