Home Secretary moves to create Calais ‘secure zone’ 24th August 2015
Recently Home Secretary Theresa May, MP announced in the House of Commons the plan to create a new ‘Safe Zone’ at the strategic port of Calais which sees £89 Billion passing through the port every year.
The port of Calais has been in the news a lot recently following an increase in the number of migrants attempting to illegally enter the UK on trucks passing through the French ferry port
The plans, which were welcomed in the Commons, details how the safe zone will have capacity for 230 vehicles allowing drivers a safe place to queue and get out of their cabs without the fear of intimidation from migrants and the possibility of people sneaking into their lorries.
The Home Affairs Select Committee also heard evidence from Richard Burnett, the RHA’s chief executive, who outlined that loads contaminated or tampered with by illegal stowaways sometimes had to be destroyed. Mr Burnett commented: “The owners of goods have to take the drastic action of scrapping loads as they cannot take the risk that they have been contaminated or damaged. With something in the order of 10,000 loads moving every day across the Channel, even if only 1% are tampered with or soiled, at a loss rate of about £30,000 per trailer, this equates to about £3 million a day equalling £1 billion a year.
“That’s a massive and unacceptable cost to our economy and many hauliers are having to absorb large parts of that cost. On top of that are the other enormous costs of vehicles unable to work as a result of being caught for days on end in Kent’s Operation stack and penalty payments for lack of delivery. In addition, the stress caused to drivers is incalculable.” There are however, still reservations that the ‘Safe Zone’ will not be ready for some time and that hauliers and truckers will continue to have to face danger and loss of profits until its completion.
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