RHA continues to monitor Calais situation

In line with the sentiments of the French police, The Road Haulage Association is of the opinion that the installation of extra fencing at Calais to stop migrants, intent on crossing the Channel to reach the UK, will simply push the problem elsewhere.
RHA’s Chief Executive, Richard Burnett, said: “We remain of the firm view that an efficient, strategic, security solution must be put in place to allow the safe and free passage of trucks through the Calais area.  Until then, those intent on crossing the Channel illegally will simply move further out and concentrate their activities on the approach roads.”

The Association is also concerned that drivers of heavy goods vehicles on the last leg of their journey, even several miles away from the port, will be put at greater risk of threat and intimidation from the subsequently increased number of migrants.  RHA is also calling for security in the wider Calais environs to be increased to deter such actions.

RHA also remains adamant that only the French military have the manpower needed to contain, separate, segregate and remove migrants from intimidating HGV traffic.

Mr Burnett added: “We came to the conclusion that if we are to be effective, we need first-hand knowledge of the situation as and when it develops.  Therefore the RHA now has an ‘on the ground, round the clock’ presence in Calais, providing us with up to the minute intelligence as to the latest migrant activity.

At the moment things appear to have quietened down.  The migrants are tired and a number are wounded.  But we are in no doubt that the current respite will be short-lived.  Our observer has spoken at length to many drivers as they wait to make the crossing.  The unanimous view is that more unrest is imminent and the fear of the migrant threat remains strong.

“It is crucial that this period be used effectively to draft in reinforcements to step-up the security surveillance.  One of the points highlighted by our observer many times over recent days has been the lack of any substantial police presence.  Our major concern is that if the situation suddenly worsens, the security measures currently in place will quite simply be unable to cope and the lives of drivers will be put at risk.”