The Freight Transport Association (FTA) will today call for urgent action to protect the vital trade link between the UK and Europe when it meets with Xavier Bertrand, new president of the Nord Pas de Calais Picardie region.
Mr Bertrand called the meeting in Calais with transport stakeholders to discuss the impact of the crisis on transportation flows and to explore potential solutions. A number of proposals will be drawn up which will be presented to both the British and French governments and the European Union.
FTA estimates that disruptions last summer caused by industrial action at the port of Calais and increased migrant activity cost the UK freight industry £750,000 a day. The Jungle camp is now home to around 5000 migrants and attacks on lorries and drivers are witnessed on a daily basis. FTA members have reported an increase in violence and the unrest has prompted indefinite suspension of a new freight rail link between Calais and Le Boulou.
Pauline Bastidon, FTA Head of European Policy, said: “We welcome today’s meeting with Mr Bertrand to highlight the impact of the problems at the port of Calais on the UK economy and beyond. £89 billion worth of UK trade passes through the port every year so it’s crucial that we find a solution as a matter of urgency.
“We want to see the camp moved away from the road and the port and Eurotunnel facility secured against migrant incursion. Our members need a safe and secure area to wait with their trucks.”
Today’s meeting will be attended by stakeholders from both sides of the Channel including the Port of Dover, P&O Ferries, Eurotunnel and the Fédération Nationale des Transports Routiers.