British Home Secretary Theresa May has pledged to create a 'secure zone' at the French port of Calais to protect lorries heading for England from migrants trying to enter the country illegally. The announcement was made on Tuesday, 14 July.
In recent months, the problem of migrants trying to gain access to the UK via Calais has been made worse by striking French ferry workers who have blocked traffic around the port and disrupted the normal flow of vehicles.
The secure waiting area will hold up to 230 vehicles, which has been estimated to be the equivalent of a 2.5-mile queue of traffic. The area will replace an existing holding area for 90 vehicles. Theresa May’s office said that the French authorities would police the zone which was expected to be in operation by December.
However many will see this as an inadequate response particularly as one eye witness told The Mover, at the height of the disruption in July, that there were an estimated 3,500 vehicles stranded.
Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, said the overall cost of migrants trying to board vehicles could be as much as 1 billion pounds ($1.56 billion) per year because many hauliers have to destroy cargo on-board breached lorries. He appealed for immediate action. Owners of household goods will not be keen to take delivery of their goods knowing that they have been subjected to abuse by clandestines.