The safety of UK-bound HGV drivers is of paramount concern to the Road Haulage Association as bulldozers finally prepare to move in and dismantle the Calais migrant camp.
Commenting, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “Of course we welcome the news that the camp is to be removed; this is something for which we have been tirelessly lobbying for many months. However, it would be naïve to think that this will be an overnight success story. It is by far the end of the problem.
“Removing the camp is essentially a short term fix. It is crucial that we see an effective plan for a long term solution. Over 6,000 migrants are now being sent to resettlement camps throughout France. However, we are extremely concerned about the thousands of migrants that remain in Calais and the surrounding area – all still intent on reaching the UK at whatever cost.”
The Calais situation is just the symptom of a massive, Europe-wide problem and must be urgently addressed. Thousands of migrants are still crossing Europe to reach the Port of Calais and their ultimate destination, the UK. The flow has to be stopped but this can only be achieved through urgent cross-European and global government cooperation.
“We want confirmation of how many security personnel are being deployed at Calais,” continued Richard Burnett. “With less than 24-hours to go before the bulldozers move in the area is already turning into a war zone. Not only are HGV drivers facing an increase in threats and attacks as migrants become ever more desperate to reach the UK, they now face yet another danger – driving through thick clouds of tear gas.
“Maximum Security at the Port and its approach roads must be assured to protect the lives of UK-bound HGV drivers. You can put a price on a half-mile long, 13ft high, brick wall built to help contain the problem but putting a price on a life of someone who just wants to do their job in safety cannot even be contemplated.”