Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Summer of Disruption Feared for Channel Road Freight as Violence Erupts Again

Drivers Under Threat from Attack Around Calais Once Again
Shipping News Feature
FRANCE – UK – The sudden upsurge in violence by migrants trying to gain illegal entry into the UK through the port of Calais has alarmed British hauliers enough that the main road transport organisation in the country has called for the French government to deploy the army to restore order around the town.

Sunday 28 May saw several violent episodes occur on the roads to the port as migrants attempted to stop lorries in order to board them, with one driver requiring hospital treatment. The violence is the first since the closure of the infamous ‘Jungle’ migrant camp last year and is seen by road freight representatives as a sign that this summer will mark a return to the disruption that the Channel ports have suffered for several years.

In response to the sudden escalation the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has written a letter urging the French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, to deploy the Military to restore law and order to the Calais area. In his letter, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett stressed the substantial loss to the UK economy and to the thousands of hauliers that cross the Channel on a daily basis since the summer of 2015:

“The unabated action by migrants and the people smugglers is crippling Calais and its environs. For the third successive summer we are once again calling for the French to deploy their military to restore law and order to the Region so that hauliers and the people of Calais can live and work safely, securely and without fearing acts of violence and intimidation from those whose only goal is to reach the shores of the United Kingdom at any cost.

“The safety of UK-bound hauliers, the economy of Calais and the safety of its citizens cannot be put in jeopardy as a result of increasing migrant mayhem.”