The Freight Transport Association has warned that strain on ferry terminals and Eurotunnel as a result of an increase in migrants at Calais could lead to the collapse of the UK supply chain.
It say there are now 3,000 people at Calais hoping to cross the Channel to Britain. As a result, vehicle checks at both ferry terminals and Eurotunnel have increased prior to embarkation. This has led to a slowdown in the processing of vehicles and threatens the reliability of the UK supply chain to and from Europe.
Donald Armour, FTA international affairs manager, said: “The UK Government really must insist on greater proactive involvement by the responsible French authorities; if they don’t act soon the UK supply chain could be in serious danger of being very badly disrupted.”
The FTA has welcomed the moves by Eurotunnel and the UK ferry operators who are reportedly looking at ways to increase secure parking areas as a matter of urgency; both are providing additional space but as UK trade continues to improve more HGVs are travelling to and from the UK. However, without sufficient security measures for drivers ensuring them a safe passage home the FTA is concerned regarding their safety.
“With an estimated 3,000 migrants now living rough in Calais the surrounding area, FTA’s principle concern is the safety of drivers attempting to travel safely through the port and trying to avoid stowaways hitching a ride on a lorry into the UK,” added Armour. “We don’t believe that truck drivers should be made to act as unpaid immigrations officers”