Hauliers threaten Calais standstill over new safety fears

France’s leading road haulage federation FNTR has threatened to “bring Calais to a standstill” if the French authorities do not take adequate measures in response to growing numbers of migrants in and around the Channel port.

The president of the trade body’s Pas de Calais branch, David Sagnard, who is also head of a cross-Channel haulage firm, told local media that the situation had once again become “untenable” for his members.

“Methods have changed. There are far fewer barricades (on Calais’ ring road), but each night migrants attempt to trespass on to our members’ premises,” he said. “They are more and more aggressive towards our staff and everyone is beginning to get sick and tired of it.”

FNTR members report that migrants have been found hiding in trailers bound for the UK inside depots, where they have also caused damage to vehicles. It has to led to calls for the courts to take a tougher line with offenders.

“We are going to give it a month to see if things changes for the better. If not, we’ll act. We don’t take any pleasure in blocking traffic as it blocks our activity too,” Sagnard added.

According to local media, the state prefect’s office denied that the situation was getting out of control, claiming that three times fewer migrants had been found concealed in HGVs compared to the same period last year while the number of intrusions in the port zone where trucks are parked, had decreased fourfold.