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Hauliers back Enough is Enough campaign in bid to highlight migrant problem at French ports

  • 01 August 2014
  • By Hayley Pink

Brian Yeardley Continental, SK Haulage (Glamorgan) and Whites Transport Services have publicly backed the driver-led Enough is Enough campaign.

The campaign was launched on Facebook by a group of HGV drivers earlier this month to highlight safety fears in France caused by desperate migrants attempting to reach the UK by boarding their trucks. A related e-petition now has more than 2,800 signatures.

Kevin Hopper, MD at Wakefield-based Brian Yeardley Continental, and employer of campaign co-founder Tommy Harrison, told CM he is “absolutely” behind the initiative’s aim to propel the government into action and protect UK drivers carrying out international haulage work. “The situation is getting ridiculous,” said Hopper. “These people are desperate and are all over trailers coming into Calais. The migrants are located all the way from Le Havre up to Paris and down to Lille in an arc around the French coast.”

Hopper told CM that one of his drivers was recently forced to slow down to prevent running over two migrants laying down in the road in front of the vehicle, however, upon stopping, around 50 more ran towards the back of the trailer attempting to board it.

David Kidby, director at Glamorgan-based SK Haulage, which carries out about 10,000 crossings to and from the continent each year, told CM that dashboard-mounted camera footage and social media has played a vital role in highlighting the problem, with hard-hitting videos and images shared daily online.

“The videos have been a shock to people, but it is something that drivers have been dealing with every time they enter the Nord Pas de Calais region for many years,” he said.

Kidby added that due to the scale of the problem in France, 97% of his company’s 300-strong trailer fleet is now fitted with aluminium roofs to prevent clandestine entry from above – despite restrictions this creates on the vehicle’s load-facilitating capacity – as well as a host of other security measures, such as filling up space in trucks’ chassis, removing spare wheel
and pallet carriers and tool boxes on the trailers to prevent illegal stowaways.

Pete White, transport manager at Cirencester-based Whites Transport Services, which runs a fleet of 20 trucks for its international work, told CM the family-run business has spent thousands of pounds in vehicle security (including £3,000 on Bulldog container locks, pictured below) to combat problems at Calais, with strict immigration procedures in place for drivers. However, he said he is still “extremely concerned” for the safety of his drivers and the security to his fleet and their loads.

“A few years ago migrants would hide in the darkness and try to sneak onto trucks while the driver slept. Now they are violent, aggressive and desperate, and we have even had them in the back of frozen loads with temperatures at -25C,” he said.

“We really need the help and support of the British and French authorities, not their scrutiny and financial penalties. They need to realise the problem has got out of hand,” said White.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/hauliers-back-enough-is-enough-campaign-in-bid-to-highlight-migrant-problem-at-french-ports