2017 marked another record trading year for leading ferry company Stena Line across its travel and freight services. Freight volumes on its Belfast to Cairnryan, Liverpool and Heysham routes exceeded a record 514 000 units, which represents a 3% year on year increase. Car volumes topped 360 000, a 2.5% year on year increase with over 1.5m passengers accounting for a similar 2.5% annual increase.
Businesses across Northern Ireland continue to be disadvantaged by poor road access to their key GB markets. Leading ferry company Stena Line has raised concerns with local political and business stakeholders to increase the focus and necessity of addressing a critical infrastructure deficit which impacts a range of key NI business sectors including manufacturing, food production and tourism.
Stena Line and P&O Ferries will take their Cairnryan vessels out of service for scheduled maintenance and annual survey work during January and May respectively this year. With all 4 vessels having received extended attention at dry dock last year it is only necessary to take them out of service for a weekend each.
Less than 16 days after the last closure, the A77 has once more been closed to all traffic for up to 12 hours, resulting in a 75-minute detour for traffic using Stena Line’s Loch Ryan Port.
The most recent closure overnight on 6th November comes on the back of the 24-hr closure of the A77 following severe flooding on 21st October when the port was in virtual lockdown mode for over 24 hrs.