Over a year into the European migrant crisis, a lorry driver and haulage union representative has warned that morale is at an “all time low” among truckers who are faced with the daily ordeal of navigating the chaos at Calais.
Sean Beatson of the United Road Transport Union, from Dover, said that his members are anxious and effected by migrant deaths at the Channel Tunnel entrance. Their anxiety is caused by the increasingly audacious and dangerous attempts to board their lorries.
“It is not a pleasant thing to be sat in a cab with people running every which way – under the trains, over them and even on them, inches from a 25,000 volt overhead catenary,” he told the Dover Express, which described the daily ordeal as “migrant terror”.
As well as the emotional trauma, truckers face a £2000 fine for every migrant that makes it into the UK aboard their vehicle. He said:
“Do you think you could see the whites of another human’s eyes seconds before running into them? I don’t know if I could. I don’t know how it would affect me and I don’t want to find out.
“Believe me, I have had bigger men than me crying like babies at simple disciplinary hearings, never mind taking the lives of someone’s mother, father, son or daughter.
“These events can affect someone for the rest of their lives – some being unable to return to driving, thereby running a career, not to mention the stresses this brings on their relationships and home life.”
Mr. Beatson said that he fears there will redundancies in the industry and a wider impact on the local economy will follow. He added: “All I want to do is to come to work, do my bit and get home to my family safely with my sanity and pride. This is becoming more and more difficult as the days go by.”
Dozens of migrants have been killed in Calais; the latest just last night, when attempting to board a freight train.
Little has changed since Theresa May, the Home Secretary, promised to alleviate the situation by sending expensive new fencing to the port. The French have also provided additional border staff and new lighting has been installed.
The new fencing, however, has been repeatedly breached by the migrants, including during a mass invasion organised by British “open borders” activists two week ago.