Friday 26th May 2017 - Logistics Manager

Calais rest stop closures put drivers at risk – FTA

The Freight Transport Association has called on the French authorities to provide more safe lorry parking for trans-European freight transport around Calais, arguing that drivers are being put at risk by recent closures.

Sanef, the French motorway operator, has drastically reduced the number of stops where UK drivers can take their rest on their way to and from the port, the gateway to the continent for the majority of UK/European freight business.

Sanef has confirmed that one rest area on the A16 at Aire Bois de la Commanderie and three on the A26 will stay shut until 30 June, due to problems with migrants returning to the Calais area after the closure of the notorious Jungle camp in 2016.

FTA deputy chief executive James Hookham said: “Legally, drivers have no choice but to stop when it’s time to take a break and it’s vital that they can park in secure areas where their trucks will be safe.”

And he warned: “Drivers could even be at risk of attack from particularly desperate individuals.”

The FTA is advising member to sign up to the Border Force Civil Penalty Accreditation Scheme which offers some protection if migrants are found on board vehicles, provided they have carried out all the recommended checks.