“l was present at Friday’s meeting in Calais at which the Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve gave his assurances that the ‘Jungle’ would be dismantled by the end of October this year,” said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett.
“We understand the hauliers and local businesses present had been given, in the past and in their eyes, false promises by the French government and were somewhat sceptical that the Minister would deliver. Their subsequent decision was that the planned action would take the form of a go-slow, not a blockade.
“We have spoken to one of the protest organisers who has told us that on Monday 5 September at 7.30am (local time) trucks and tractors will be gathering at Dunkirk to the North of Calais and Boulogne to the South. Both groups will then travel along the A16 towards Calais, converging at the Eurotunnel exit.”
200 French farmers are joining in the protest, angry at migrant action that has resulted in destroyed crops and extensive damage to farms in the area.
“It seems certain that traffic crossing from the UK will find it almost impossible to leave the Port as access to the A16 is denied,” Burnett continued. “The inevitable repercussions of this will surely mean that the authorities on this side of the Channel will have no alternative but to deploy Operation Stack. This will bring yet further misery to hauliers bound for mainland Europe and of course for the people and businesses of Kent.
“It appears that the proposals made by the Minister were not enough to placate local Calais businesses and hauliers. We have been told that those taking part in the protest are in it for the long haul and they will stay there until they see action to dismantle the camp.
“While we understand the reason for the action, we cannot condone it. The knock-on effects for hauliers, Kent and those returning from their holidays on the Continent will also be in it ‘for the long haul’ but certainly not as a matter of choice,” he concluded.