Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by P&O Irish Sea


  P&O Irish Sea started the Mostyn Dublin Service on the 19 November 2001. The new Mostyn-Dublin service is operated by P&O Irish Sea's latest conventional fast ferry the European Ambassador and the European Envoy, sailing at 23:00 and 08:30 from Mostyn. The European Ambassador was built in 2000, and took up service from Liverpool in January 2001. From there she was transferred along with the European Envoy to Mostyn. The Ambassador is the fastest conventional ship on the Irish Sea, transporting up to 405 passengers and their vehicles to Dublin in less than six hours at a service speed of 26kts.

  With the two vessels on the route we have a capacity for 440 freight units a day inclusive of Imports and Exports, with space on the terminal for 330 unaccompanied trailers, 40 driver accompanied, and 40 passenger vehicles.


  Before opening we were in consultation with Flintshire County Council in respect of the major traffic flows expected and planned Port traffic-routing. The aim was to avoid the A550 between RAF Sealand and the A55 as these are exceptionally busy stretches of road. It was decided that the aim was to signpost Mostyn traffic onto the A548, past Deeside Industrial Park and take advantage of the dual carriageway and third Dee-Crossing Bridge.

  In addition to this primary route it was also identified that traffic from the Midlands and Mid-Wales, would possible use the A5/A483/A55 and subsequent A5119 through Flint Mountain onto the A548. Current works have progressed at Aber Road Junction Flint onto the A548 which will improve traffic flows down from the A55/A5119 through Flint Mountain.

  Both these routes are currently signed using AA temporary signs.

  After consultation with most of our Freight customer-base the primary route into Mostyn is using the M56/A5117/A550/A548. This is also the route we recommend for passenger traffic in our Brochure and on our Web-site.

  At present the road "infrastructure" along this route is good, with most of it being dual carriageway. The areas of delay and congestion would be on the A548 in Flint and the single carriageway between Greenfield-Ffynnongroyw and the Shotwick Lights (A550/A5117).

  The delays caused in Flint will only continue to be a problem for hauliers visiting the port and the industry based along the A548. This is now recognised as a major bottleneck with safety and environmental issues associated with it. We are aware that studies have looked at both these areas in the past, and possible options on duelling selected. We would welcome any such investigations regarding improvements such as the current new "Dart Study". We look forward to an urgent solution to this congestion problem.

  A550/A548—Is and will continue to be problem during peak traffic. We are aware that the Highways Agency intends to carry out works in this area in 2006-07 to make this a high-speed junction. Given the Welsh Improvements to the A55 "E" road, we would welcome any assistance from the Welsh Assembly in lobbying the highways agency to improve this stretch before 2006, thus removing the bottleneck from this major freight and tourist route into Wales.


  As mentioned previously signage at present is in the form of temporary AA signage. We are currently progressing with permanent signage, and taking advantage of road improvements in the County to get Mostyn signposted. We have found that the signing of Mostyn has meant dealing on three levels—Local Council Level, Welsh Assembly Level for trunk roads and the Highways Agency for trunk roads into North Wales, these being primarily the M56/A5117.



Mostyn Docks is rail connected, with commodities such as Steel and Chemicals (Warwick) being brought into the Port by rail. Plans are underway to improve the "rail infrastructure" at Mostyn Docks with additional sidings and warehousing. At present all steel leaves Mostyn Docks by coastal general cargo ships, some trials have been carried out with rail trans-shipments on road trailers for onward shipping with P&O Irish Sea to Dublin. A major haulier and customer of P&O Irish Sea (based at Mostyn Docks) has plans to increase this type of traffic.


  In the mid-term we would like to see the re-opening of Mostyn Station to accommodate for foot passenger traffic. As the Mostyn route develops, and the name Mostyn becomes synonymous with getting to Ireland, this is a market trend that we want to develop further. This will give passengers more choice in getting across the Irish Sea by foot.

  Any improvement to link the Wrexham to Bidston and Crewe to Bangor/Holyhead railway lines by means of the Shotton cord would be essential for the development of rail freight along the North Wales Coast, in particular for Mostyn Docks.

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