Our new MP is a keen poster on Facebook, but while we’ve been told about her gorgeous bike rides, Virginia Crosbie has had almost nothing to say on an issue of huge significance for our island: the failure of the Tory UK Government to include the Holyhead to Dublin ferry route in its plan to support ferry services.
Holyhead Port is the second busiest roll-on roll-off ferry port in the UK and plays a key role in the economy of Ynys Môn and North Wales generally. It is of vital importance in the transport of a wide range of goods, including food and supplies for the NHS, and employs a very large workforce whose jobs, pay and conditions are coming under severe threat.
A significant proportion of traffic on the Holyhead to Dublin route goes on to Northern Ireland. Yet while up to £17 million has been made available to ferry companies to protect the flow of goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, the Holyhead to Dublin ferry route has been neglected.
Whilst we recognise Virginia Crosbie’s promotion of the more general measures being taken by Welsh and UK Government, such as business interruption loans, that have been made available to support businesses, it is vital that she use her influence with Government to protect the jobs and livelihoods of Holyhead workers.
Lee Waters, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, has written to the UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to press the case for Holyhead.
As he says, we should not be waiting for key routes to fail before stepping in. We need to act now and act quickly. It is unacceptable, inexplicable and irresponsible that the Port of Holyhead has not been included in the UK Government’s ferry service support plans.
So our message to Virginia Crosbie is clear: Please join us now in openly urging the UK Government to reconsider their decision and take urgent action to safeguard Holyhead Port and people’s livelihoods.