Wednesday 20 June 2018

Donohoe must intervene in Calais crisis to help Irish hauliers: Dooley

Timmy Dooley in Calais
Timmy Dooley in Calais
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Fianna Fáil's transport spokesman Timmy Dooley has called on Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe to intervene to help the Irish hauliers coming under increasing strain due to the escalating migrant crisis in France.

Speaking to the Irish Independent from the French port town Calais, Mr Dooley said he was "shocked" by conditions the migrants were living in.

"There is between 3,000 and 4,000 people living in shanty towns. All they have is little nylon tents, it's shocking to think this is happening in Europe," he said.

Hauliers are facing very difficult conditions and missing delivery deadlines due to strict rules around the amount of time they can drive.

They are also facing fines in the UK if stowaways are found in their trucks.

"Irish hauliers are suffering because they have unintentionally transported migrants from Calais.

"This exposes both the driver and the haulage firm to £2,000 in fines each per migrant," Mr Dooley said.

He called for a relaxing of rules around tachographs - the system recording hauliers' driving time.

Because of the migrant crisis drivers are being forced to wait in long queues which resulted in delayed deliveries.

Minister Donohoe is due to meet with road hauliers in the coming weeks to discuss a response to the difficulties.

However, the EU Commission told the Department changing driving time rules will not help the situation.

Irish Independent

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