Freight News, Road

Calais chaos costs £3/4 m a day – and rising (updated)

[ July 24, 2015   //   ]

Port delays on both sides of the Channel are costing the UK logistics industry £750,000 a day according to Freight Transport Association (FTA) figures. Problems in France with migrants, striking ferry workers and protesting farmers mean drivers are spending hours stuck in Operation Stack on the M20 in Kent and oin the Calais region.
FTA deputy chief executive James Hookham said it was “a serious national strategic problem.  This is the country’s GDP and export standing still in these horrendous queues caused by the situation in Calais.
“It is simply not acceptable that industrial action in France can cause such chaos which is impacting on the British economy.  Calais has to be made a strike free-zone so that cross-Channel traffic can start moving again and Operation Stack can be lifted as soon as possible.”
Yesterday farmers protesting at the price of milk and meat set fire to tyres and closed main routes between Calais and the south of France.  Overnight freight services through the Channel Tunnel were suspended after 100 migrants were stopped as they tried to get to Britain and the body of a teenager was found on top of a Eurotunnel train.
Even more chaos is expected this weekend – the busiest holiday get-away weekend of the year – as trucks are already stacked in a 35-mile queue on the M20 and cross-Channel services report delays.

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) added: “Yet again French police officers are standing by while these unacceptable attacks take place. France must act to guarantee freedom of movement in its territory. Its police must uphold the law. Marc Billiet, IRU’s head of goods transport for the EU said, “It is absolutely unacceptable that the haulage industry is on the receiving end of total French incompetence or unwillingness to uphold the rule of law, again. We cannot have drivers being threatened, tyres being slashed and loads being destroyed.”