Saturday 1st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Calais security still not good enough – RHA

The Road Haulage Association has said that current security measures at Calais, where there have been riots at a migrant camp, are not enough to protect drivers from violence. Although the RHA appreciates a growth of security at the port, it is alarmed by the level of violence that continues.

The RGA quoted French police as saying said that they had been “pelted with rocks” by migrants attempting to block roads to the ferry terminal.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “This has become an absolutely untenable situation. We are now getting reports of extreme violent migrant activity on a daily basis.”

Toby Ovens, director of RHA member Broughton Transport Solutions, said: ‘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, 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.’

Burnett added: “The situation must be resolved now – waiting until someone gets killed is simply not an option.”

* The Freight Transport Association said that it “warned weeks ago that the situation in Calais would continue to escalate if action wasn’t taken.”

FTA’s deputy chief executive James Hookham said: “This is utterly unacceptable. Calais is back in crisis and truck operators and their drivers are again in the firing line – sometimes literally. The reported actions of migrants has crossed a line. Whatever your views on the plight of migrants and asylum seekers no-one has a right to threaten, intimidate or physically attack drivers and other innocent bystanders.

“FTA expects and demands safe passage for truck drivers and other port users going about their lawful business. This must be the primary concern of French and British governments before someone gets seriously injured, or even killed.”