Britains Road Haulage Association (RHA) has slammed the news that a new migrant camp is to be built at the Dunkirk ferry port, approximately 30 miles from the Port of Calais.
“This will not solve the problem of migrants causing yet more misery for the thousands of UK-bound hauliers who regularly use this alternative route to cross the Channel”, said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett (pictured, in Calais). “The issue must be resolved, not doubled.
“Britain has committed 19 million pounds in funding for fences, CCTV and other security measures at Calais since the crisis erupted in June and has already invested 7 million pounds in a secure HGV parking area and additional fencing at the Port. We now learn that the French government will apparently be picking up the 1.1 million pounds bill for the new camp. As experience has clearly shown, this will barely scratch the surface of the problem.“
“Migrants at Calais already outnumber security officials by 18:1. Our greatest concern is that the number of staff will be reduced and redeployed at Dunkirk. The inevitable outcome of this will be that what is already a bad situation will get much, much worse. It is unthinkable that lives, already at risk, are lost.”
The RHA, which represents over 8,000 UK trucking companies, says it will continue to push for deployment of the French military at Calais and will be requesting a meeting with the towns mayor, who has also voiced her concerns about the safety of local citizens.
“This is now a critical situation which cannot be allowed to continue”, continued Mr Burnett. “The lives and livelihoods for hauliers and for thousands of Calaisians are now being put at severe risk. Pressure must be brought to bear on the French government to act. Duplicating the problem to another port 30 miles away is not the answer.”