Wednesday 13 December 2017

Hauliers fear Calais crisis will escalate

A truck passes as migrants stand beside the road in Calais, northern France
A truck passes as migrants stand beside the road in Calais, northern France
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

Irish truck drivers working out of Calais fear the situation with the migrant crisis will escalate, leaving them in greater danger.

Concern is growing that with little change on the ground some migrants may begin to take a "different approach" in their bid to cross the Channel, according to the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA).

"They haven't disrupted the trains for the last couple of nights, which for us is rather worrying because we believe that if they are growing in numbers, they are going to obviously take a different approach.

"And I am not sure what that approach will be because they are still desperate," Verona Murphy, president of the IRHA, said.

Drivers have reported incidents where they were threatened by migrants wielding iron bars, broken bottles and knives. And while no one has been seriously injured yet, the IRHA admitted that has become their "biggest fear".

"If they decide to turn on a driver, the situation can become very fraught and serious," Ms Murphy said.

She travelled to the port in Calais last night to assess the situation facing hauliers.

"I will be putting it to the Irish Government that they are going to have to recognise this fact that it is having a grave effect on our industry and that they should step in and consult with their EU partners before it gets any worse.

"We need to survive as an industry, it is being eroded every day," she added.

They are also calling upon the Government to intervene in the tachograph rules, which will not force drivers to park up for a period after they exceed their "driving time".

Irish Independent

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