Calais death underlines need for action, says FTA

The FTA has told David Cameron that the death of a migrant on a freight train at Calais highlights the need for urgent action to tackle chaos at the port. Following weeks of violent disturbances, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has written to the prime minister describing the situation as a “deplorable”.  FTA has told the PM that conditions for drivers have reached unacceptable levels and the situation must be given urgent priority by the British and French governments.  A resolute and determined plan must be put in place.

FTA chief executive David Wells said: “It is a tragedy that the deplorable situation in Calais has resulted in a fatality today, but it was clear that the issue at the port was spiralling out of control.  We have been calling on the both the British and French Governments to intervene for some time, and are now asking the Prime Minister to give the matter his urgent priority, and to implement plans to alleviate the crisis.”

Whilst FTA welcomed Cameron’s interventions and public statements in recent weeks, it stated that the danger to migrants, scale of the delays, disruption to supply chains and, above all, risks to drivers’ health and safety have reached unacceptable levels.

FTA has continuously called for the issue to be dealt with over the past few months, stating that it should not be allowed to continue.  The association said that as the ‘chaos in Calais’ goes on it is at the detriment of the UK economy.

Wells added: “As the disruption and delays continue on both sides of the Channel the cost to the UK economy is running into hundreds of millions pounds each week.”

FTA has agreed to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for news about any future action after requests from its members on the British Shippers’ Council for a reliable source of information about problems on the ferries and roads.  These members are the owners of the consignments on board the affected vehicles who are losing millions of pounds a week through delayed deliveries and missed deadlines.

FTA will use its twitter account @newsfromfta to provide regular updates and collate information from sources including Eurotunnel, the Port of Dover and Kent Police.

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