Friday 30th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

MP to raise concerns about ‘virtual war zone’ at Calais

Rob Flello MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on freight transport, has said he will be raising the issue of violence at Calais in government following a recent visit to the port.

The Road Haulage Association has said issues at the French port continue, with six injured last week when police used tear gas to stop migrants climbing aboard trucks travelling to the UK. According to the RHA, French press have said 800 migrants occupied the roads leading up to the port.

Flello said: “Despite Eurotunnel now becoming a fortress, the access roads have become like a virtual war zone, unsafe for motorists and professional drivers. If Calais is to survive as the most economically viable and convenient crossing for freight traffic between the UK and mainland Europe, this situation cannot be allowed to continue. The UK and French governments must get to the heart of the issue to establish safety on the streets of Calais and maintain this vital freight route.

“I will be raising this at the highest levels within government and also proposing some further mitigation measures that both Eurotunnel and the Port of Calais can take based on my recent experiences,” he said.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA, said that despite the use of a “specific riot police unit” at Calais, the area still needs an increased on the ground presence.

“We are pleased that the mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart has reiterated our call for the deployment of the military to secure Calais and its environs, but we are still waiting for this call to be acted upon,” said Burnett.