Construction of wall in Calais

The RHA has renewed its call for French troops to be deployed to restore order in Calais as migrant numbers continue to swell.

In a letter to French prime minister Édouard Philippe, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett warned the situation in Calais is “once again deteriorating rapidly”.

He said: “The determination of the migrants is putting lives and livelihoods at risk and the cost to UK-bound hauliers is immense. We estimate this situation has cost hauliers and the UK economy millions of pounds.

"The economy of Calais and the safety of its citizens are being put in jeopardy.”

Burnett added that many drivers are refusing to make the journey across the Channel because of the risks to themselves and their vehicles.

“We understand the human rights issues arising from this appalling situation. However, is it not also a human right that road hauliers, the citizens of Calais and others in the Hauts-de-France region be allowed to do their jobs in safety?”

The RHA has been calling for the French government to deploy troops to help prevent migrant attacks on trucks for two years.

Burnett said: “Of course this will not solve the bigger issue but certainly, for those who live and work in the immediate vicinity of Calais, their presence would have a positive effect.”

The RHA’s letter comes as the numbers of migrants returning to the Calais area continues to increase.

Last week saw a co-ordinated attack on trucks approaching the port which resulted in one truck driver suffering minor injuries, an issue also highlighted by the FTA.

The Pas de Calais prefecture said it was the first time migrants had set up improvised barriers in the middle of the road since the notorious jungle migrant camp was razed in October.

The prefecture estimates that some 300 migrants are now in the Calais area, while local aid groups claim the figure to be closer to 600.

Image: Press Association