Migrant threat to road freight returns to Calais
Wednesday, 15 January 2020
French police have intervened on several occasions over the past few days to remove barriers set up on roads near the entrance to the port by people trying to slow down traffic and board HGVs heading for the UK
After three years of relative calm, French police have intervened on several occasions over the past few days to remove barriers set up by migrants on roads near the entrance to the port of Calais with the aim of slowing down traffic and providing an opportunity to board HGVs heading for the UK, according to local media reports.
Between 30 and 100 migrants are said to have been involved in the incidents, with road signs, tree branches and detritus used to block traffic. No injuries have been reported as a result of the action.
Sources say around 300 migrants were present in Calais last month when measures were taken to dislodge them from illegal encampments. However, charity groups point to migrants returning to Calais or arriving in the town on a regular basis and estimate their number at between 400 and 500.
The port and its users will be hoping these latest incidents remain isolated and that there is no escalation in the situation, resulting in the regular incursions on to the ring road by migrants which were a daily occurrence before the dismantling of the infamous ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in October 2016 where at one point an estimated 9,000 individuals had congregated.
According to figures sent to Lloyd’s Loading List by France’s Ministry of the Interior, 14,099 migrants were discovered in trucks at the port of Calais last year compared to 15,332 in 2018. At Eurotunnel’s French terminal, 9,770 migrants were found aboard HGVs in 2019 against 10,614 the previous year.