Springholm Shop sees bacon roll sales drop amid fears hauliers abandoning A75 in Dumfries and Galloway

Bacon roll sales at an A75 pit-stop have slumped amid fears that hauliers could be abandoning the Euroroute. Custom checks are now in operation at Cairnryan Port after a border down the Irish Sea came into force on January 1. Since then HGV traffic movements on the road appear to have dwindled significantly – along with associated passing trade.

At Springholm Shop, Julie MacKenzie and partner Alasdair MacPhee should be selling around 60 bacon butties a day to truckers. But now a large slice of their bread and butter income has disappeared – leaving the couple counting the cost. Julie told the News: “Looking at figures from January 2020 as a comparison our takings are down by at least 50 per cent.

“A great part of that is down to the road being much quieter than usual over the first few weeks of January. “There’s been a reduction of lorry drivers right across the board. “Yesterday in particular before 9am and after 11.30am it felt like a Sunday.

“There was just no traffic about.” Julie, 36, suspects new direct sailings from Ireland to France could be impacting on the North Channel ferries. Currently EU-bound wagons leaving Northern Ireland face two sets of customs – at Cairnryan and Dover.

But shipment between Belfast and France via Rosslare Europort is barrier-free – potentially making the Irish port a more attractive option. Julie said: “I assume some hauliers could be using different sea crossings because they are easier. “Since the New Year we have seen a lot less regular lorry drivers than we would do normally.”

The shop opens up at 5am to catch early morning ferry traffic heading to and from the Cairnryan. Julie added: “There are long periods when nothing is happening at all. “That has never happened to us before.

Things are not good at the moment by any means.” Two miles towards Crocketford, Inn on the Loch owner Helen Bean has also noticed a drop-off in traffic. She said: “We don’t tend to get many HGVs in because we have accommodation here.

But one hundred per cent the A75 is so much quieter. “I don’t know whether that is down to the pandemic, Brexit, or a combination of both.” Helen added: “The haulage traffic in particular has been a lot quieter in the last few weeks.

Volume is minimal compared with what it used to be.”