RHA urges action over Calais migrant crisis
The Road Haulage Association, a UK trade association for road transport operators, has launched an online petition to protect truck drivers trying to transport goods at the Port of Calais, where the European migrant crisis is creating major issues.
The petition calls on the UK government to end Operation Stack, the traffic management system put in place to cope with the disruption to Channel Tunnel and ferry services caused by an unprecedented surge in migrants fleeing the Middle East and Africa for the UK, and “restore law and order in Calais”.
In a statement, RHA said the effects of the crisis are 'having an intolerable effect on the UK and its haulage industry', referring to the 'threat of violence and harassment from migrants, intent on reaching the UK'.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “On this side of the Channel, Operation Stack has seen in excess of 5,000 vehicles parked up, simply waiting to cross to France. The cost to the haulage industry alone is massive and the corresponding problems caused to the people of Kent have become untenable."
The trade association claims European retailers are facing unsustainable losses as a result of failed/late deliveries or stock shortages.
Last month, Burnett told the UK's Home Affairs Select Committee hearing on the migrant situation at Calais that the cost of spoiled loads resulting from the issue is approximately £1 billion per annum.
Burnett has called for security levels at the Port of Calais to be improved in order to secure the safe passage of heavy goods vehicles and for the French military to be deployed to help the Port authorities control security.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently said he expects the Calais migrant crisis to last throughout the summer.