Reconfiguration of Salt Island, Holyhead Port

RPS was involved in assessing the operational efficiency of the roads, parking and internal layout at the Holyhead Port in Wales. Holyhead Port holds significant economic importance generating high volumes of commercial and freight traffic. 

The project at Holyhead involves the delivery of the reworking of the layout of the Holyhead Port from initial concept through design and to construction completion. The overall scheme includes the analysis of the current port access/egress and trailer handling operations, identifying inefficiencies and developing a design to allow for more efficient use of the space available and future proof the port for an unaccompanied freight management system.

Key details

Project name:

Salt Island, Holyhead Port


Holyhead, Wales. UK

Services provided:

  • Traffic Assessment
  • Civil and Highway Engineering
  • Project Management
  • Reclamation and Revetment design
  • Structural design
  • Ecology & Environmental
  • Contractor Procurement
  • Contract Administration
  • Principal Designer (CDM)
  • Site Supervision


The scheme was centred upon the ineffective layout within Holyhead Port and the knock-on effect this had on turn-around times for the vessels within the Port. Of particular concern was the time taken for port operators to load/unload unaccompanied freight to/from the vessels. The proposed design was required to minimise the time associated with this handling operation. In order to deliver the preferred layout, localised reclamation works and associated Marine Licence was required.

The delivery of the scheme during the Construction phase also had to be considered given that the port had to remain fully operational at all times with no impact on vessel timetables. The fact that there were two different ferry companies operating out of the port further complicated this challenge.



RPS utilised our knowledge and experience in Transport Master Planning, Traffic Modelling and Engineering to develop an appropriate layout for the site. The needs of all of the users on the site had to be accommodated within the design and assessment process.

Following Contractor procurement, RPS used their expertise to effectively carry out the Contract Administration, whilst providing site supervision and design support during the construction works. As Principal Designer, in accordance with CDM Regulations 2015 RPS planned, managed, monitored and co-ordinated health & safety in the pre-construction phase, liaised with the Principal Contractor in regards health and safety management during construction and managed the completion of all required CDM documentation.

Throughout RPS collaborated with colleagues in Ecology and Environment to ensure that any Port-residing wildlife or habitats and existing archaeology would not be impacted by the construction. The scheme required significant liaison between all stakeholders to ensure that the design delivered for all interested parties and that all necessary permits were obtained for the Works.

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