Freight News, Road

RHA repeats call to bring in the army

[ December 15, 2015   //   ]

The Road Haulage Association has renewed its call for the French army to be deployed protect truck drivers in Calais, following a visit by chief executive Richard Burnett to the area.
Mr Burnett warned that the 1,300 riot police and gendarmerie deployed may not be enough to handle the ever increasing number of migrants who are homing in on the port to attempt the crossing from mainland Europe to the UK on the back of a truck.
He pointed out that the police were deployed on a shift basis with only 300-400 working at any one time, adding: “We are concerned that the British authorities are not doing enough to tackle this issue and they must push their French counterparts much harder to act now.”
While security at Eurotunnel has been stepped up and at the moment seems to be proving effective, it has simply moved the migrant focus to the vulnerable areas of the ferry port. “In addition, migrant activity on the port approach roads remains a massive issue and many hauliers will no longer stop within 150 miles of Calais unless absolutely necessary. This must also be addressed.”
Burnett concluded: “I must stress that the security forces at Calais are doing their best. But their numbers must be increased and their activities need to be proactive – not reactive.
“Now is the time for the Association’s calls for deployment of the French military to contain the situation be heeded and urgently acted upon.
“Increased security will not make the problem disappear overnight, but it will certainly act as a deterrent and will surely help to prevent my worst fear from becoming a reality – that an HGV driver wishing for no more to complete his journey in safety is killed.”