RHA: waiting for Calais death simply not an option – video
The Road Haulage Association has restated the seriousness of the situation at Calais, France, where it says “growing numbers of migrants… are becoming increasingly frustrated that their efforts to gain access to UK-bound trucks are being thwarted.” While Calais has slipped from the headlines somewhat since its July peak, the RHA says the problems have not gone away. The association says the measures currently being taken are not enough to protect drivers. Two days ago Calais police said officers monitoring the 6000-strong camp near the Port were pelted with rocks as migrants repeatedly tried to block roads leading to the main ferry terminal.
“This has become an absolutely untenable situation”, said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. “We are now getting reports of extreme violent migrant activity on a daily basis. I can do no better than to directly quote a report from one of our members that was received this morning following last night’s migrant activity.”
Toby Ovens, director, Broughton Transport Solutions, stated: “The situation in Calais was dire on Tuesday night; I had two drivers attacked by missiles thrown by immigrants at my vehicles and damage done to the vehicle. One of the drivers was female and they attempted to open the doors to her vehicle and when they didn’t succeed they attacked the vehicle leaving her very shaken. This situation is completely unacceptable. We as hauliers need someone we can go to, in order to sort this situation. I am on the verge of pulling out of European haulage, my family have been operating abroad for the last 30+ years but now I feel the time has come where I cannot continue to put my drivers at risk, I have no doubt that soon someone will get killed. Calais is a lawless place; the police in Calais were just watching immigrants attack vehicles last night.”
“This is just one of many examples we have received of a situation that is spiralling out of control”, Richard Burnett continued. “During the summer I visited Calais several times to see for myself the mayhem caused by migrants and it became clear that the situation changes on an almost hourly basis. We therefore took the decision to send a member of our own staff over to Calais to monitor the situation first hand.
“As we predicted several months ago, it is the Port approach roads that need increased security. Last night our ‘observer’ spoke to drivers who have witnessed migrants standing on Port approach road bridges, throwing rocks onto truck windscreens, forcing them to stop. This situation must be resolved now – waiting until someone gets killed is simply not an option.”
The association also made available a video shot by one of its members illustrating its point about the mounting tension in Calais: