Freight News, Road

‘Bring in the Army’ says RHA

[ October 23, 2015   //   ]

The Road Haulage Association has repeated its call for the French army to be deployed to secure the Tunnel following the latest upsurge in would-be stowaways trying to break into trucks. With a reported 7,000 illegal migrants in the port area on 23 October and the largest police presence in France outside Paris, RHA said it supported calls by the Mayor of Calais to deploy the Army, as the Association had proposed almost six months ago.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The threat to drivers and to international haulage services is once again on the increase. RHA members and staff have seen intimidation of drivers and attacks on vehicles first-hand. It is mostly focussed on the Channel Tunnel but has also affected the ferries using the Port. The continued intimidation is inflicting long-term damage on the road haulage sector in the UK with more and more drivers refusing to do the work.  Smaller hauliers are finding it increasingly difficult to stay in the market as alternative routes are being block booked in advance by larger, regular users.”
He added: “Disruption to trade is still widespread. The RHA constantly advises its members on truck security but the authorities are letting our members down very badly. Delays and damage are now becoming the norm and this represents a cost that the UK supply chain simply cannot accept. .”
Rob Flello, MP for Stoke South and chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary group on Freight Transport, added: “The government promised months ago to sort out this situation and instead the threat to professional drivers, their lorries and of course the refugees themselves is in danger of becoming permanent. We cannot carry on as if this crisis will simply go away of its own accord – clearly, it won’t.”

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