Monday, August 3, 2015

Road Haulage Boss Seeks Talks with PM over Calais Migrant Situation as Freight Ferries Disrupted

Thousands Continue to Assault Both the Channel Tunnel Terminal and Truck Drivers
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – UK – As road haulage drivers tell us the situation regarding the migrants massing in Calais and surrounds are becoming more militant by the day the number of ‘intrusions’ at the Channel Tunnel facility is rising once more with 1,700 break ins at the terminal during Sunday night alone whilst freight truck drivers face a continual threat. Confidence in the French police’s ability to manage the situation, and in the figures they have produced regarding the dispersal of the migrants, has waned amongst the drivers at the cutting edge.

The death total since the beginning of June stands at nine as the continual assaults on the terminal continue relentlessly, police have had to resort to shoving huge swathes, up to 1,000 individuals, away from the Eurotunnel facility according to eye witnesses. The situation is not helped by the ongoing vandalism by ex-ferry workers (continually referred to in the mainstream press as ferry workers) which we have written about ad nauseum, whose actions have delayed both trains and DFDS ferry services.

Now, with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond chairing a Cobra contingencies committee meeting to discuss the problems, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett has written to the Prime Minister requesting an urgent meeting to thrash out what can be done in the light of the effect of the crisis on Britain’s road freight industry, and indeed the country’s economy as a whole. He has pointed out that, faced with people ‘hell bent’ on entering the UK, the industry needs to hear government commitment as to what can, and will be done to protect drivers. With Operation Stack having been described as a ‘sticking plaster’ solution, Mr Burnett commented:

“We need the same level of commitment to protecting truck drivers, their vehicles and loads as we are seeing towards protecting the valuable Channel Tunnel infrastructure at Coquelles. We are not seeing that and we are not hearing it from the Prime Minister. We recognise the scale and complexity of the migrant crisis and the humanitarian issue involved. However, that is a separate issue from the urgent need to allow trucks to move freely and without intimidation.

“Without witnessing the mayhem at Calais first hand, neither the Prime Minister, nor his advisers can fully grasp the severity of the situation. I have therefore issued an invitation to David Cameron to travel with him across the Channel to see for himself the appalling conditions that drivers are facing. I made the journey five weeks ago and I have been back to Calais today to assess the current situation and to establish for myself the problems facing our drivers.”

Photo: A French policeman struggles to extract his can of pepper spray as, in the background one youth is brought to the floor by his colleagues and to his left dozens of migrants stream past him on their way to seek transport.