Posted: Sun 1st Apr 2018

Protestors occupy Holt / Farndon bridge as it is selected as ‘Brexit Hard Border Trial Site’ for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Apr 1st, 2018

As it is after midday – this was of course an April Fool! You can see others from today: Protestors occupy Holt / Farndon bridge as it is selected as ‘Brexit Hard Border Trial Site’ , Welsh Assembly to open ‘innovate’ new Shrewsbury HQ to ‘link South, Mid and North Wales’‘Blimp of Welsh air’ to be taken to Walsall as Wrexham unveils new twinning partner.

Enjoy those? Here are some more from previous years…  2017: Council To Launch Helicopter Tours Of Gresford Roundabout Potholes, Queues Outside Guildhall As Thousands Log Off Facebook & Register To Vote Instead, Clean-up Operation Underway As Police Station Tower Falls Over In Storm 2016: ‘Bubble Bus’ For Wrexhamites Shopping In Chester, St Giles Set To Get ‘Digital Clockface’ In Upgrade Plans 2015: Plan To Put Roof On Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre 2014: Possible ‘HMP Chester’ Name For Wrexham Prison 2013: A483 To Become Toll Road In New Trial 2012: Council Declare Wrexham as ‘Capital City of Wales’. We didn’t exist for 2011…!


Original ‘Fool’ from this morning below….

Protestors have set up camp at the side of the Holt / Farndon road bridge this weekend after it was revealed the bridge will soon have ‘check point style’ boxes to test out possible Brexit border system solutions.

The UK Government’s Department for Exiting the European Union was highly criticised on Friday after announcing six sites across the UK to be the test sites for possible ‘hard border systems’, with a new ‘soft border’ test starting next month.

The wider UK Brexit plans could see a ‘visible regime’ of border patrols and checkpoints between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit, with the UK government selecting sites to test out the equipment and day to day running of a possible system.

The documents say: “The Holt to Farndon bridge satisfies a number of criteria and has the added plus of being a real active border itself.”

The UK Government explainer document gives detail on what will be installed locally shortly, with two trials taking place, each taking a month.

The Soft Border Trial (first 4 week period)
• Enhanced signage and new highway markings.
• ANPR automatic numberplate recognition cameras.
• 500 person strong opt in ‘pre registration’ for goods movement
• Free access for all with ‘spot check’ identity request.
• Lay-by creation for temporary ‘spot check’ use.

The Hard Border Trial ( second 4 week period)

• Construction of hard border infrastructure including ‘checkpoints’ and ‘guard house’.
• ‘Enhanced CCTV’ covering the bridge.
• 24/7 on site security stopping vehicles ‘as and when’.
• Testing of ‘various levels of border security regimes’.

A protestor who did not want to named said: “The villages will grind to a halt with queues of traffic for rudimentary customs checks, which are not needed.”

Another said: “I live in Farndon and work in Holt and this could mean I have to pre register anything I want to take over or be questioned, and even have to show ID”.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The trial sites have partially been selected for their low use and location to clear alternative routes. Anyone who does not wish to take part can use the A534 Wrexham Road route and bridge which will add around one and a half minutes to any trip.”

“The trials are to gain data and test systems so we can make informed local decisions.” have been told that due to the Brexit powers no local planning permission will be required to place the ‘temporary structures’ on and near to the bridge.

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