CPT advises in Calais chaos
CPT has been aiding the industry during the difficulties caused by disruptions to cross channel services due to the Calais strikes. A CPT spokesperson said, ‘CPT has continued to work closely with the DfT and the port user group at Dover during the recent troubles and disruption at Dover and Calais due to increased migrant activity. Members have been kept fully up to date with all the latest developments and advice for taking coaches between Dover and Calais through our regular Coaching Matters and Newsline publications.’
‘CPT appreciates that the situation has become increasingly difficult for drivers of both PSV and freight vehicles and we have urged operators to make sure that their drivers/staff are fully briefed and prepared before setting off on any tours which run via Calais. CPT continues to express its concerns about the current situation especially in relation to the cost and inconvenience being experienced by customers and the effect it is having on drivers with DfT and the freight and seas sectors, and we will keep members informed on how these discussions develop.’
A website has been set up by the DfT (http://maps.dft.gov.uk/channel-disruption/index.html#calais) to provide details on alternative routes and ferry operators. At the time of going to press, the situation had not changed.
Other trade bodies in road related industries have made similar efforts during the disruption. The RHA launched a mass petition to ‘restore law and order in Calais’, to put an end to Operation Stack and to generally ‘stop the misery’ of crossing the Channel. RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett, said, ‘I am calling for everybody in the country to sign the online petition at www.rhaactnow.uk.net as every name added makes our campaign stronger.’
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has been urging the EU to resolve cross-border disruption, which it says is damaging UK economy. It has conducted research, which shows 11% of its members are affected, rising to 21% in the south east region.