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Lorry drivers ‘refusing to travel between Calais and Dover’ after violent clashes

PUBLISHED: 15:45 23 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:45 23 August 2017

UK lorry drivers are being put at risk by violent clashes in Calais, according to an industry body. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

UK lorry drivers are being put at risk by violent clashes in Calais, according to an industry body. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The Road Haulage Association says UK drivers are being put at risk

UK lorry drivers are being put at risk by violent clashes in Calais, according to an industry body.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) issued the warning after gangs of migrants were involved in multiple brawls on roads approaching the French port and Eurotunnel terminal.

Up to 200 migrants have been involved in the clashes over the past two days.

A number of police officers and migrants have been injured in the incidents, which have involved Afghans and Eritreans.

The prefecture of the Pas-de-Calais region said up to 150 migrants were involved in a fight on Tuesday afternoon.

RHA director of policy Rod McKenzie said: “Our members are terrified and angry. Gangs of marauding migrants, often armed with iron bars, are attacking their vehicles.

“The police are heavily outnumbered and it’s clear that they can no longer cope with the ever-increasing numbers trying to make the crossing to the UK.”

Mr McKenzie added that some drivers are refusing to make the journey between Calais and Dover, with many hauliers diverting their vehicles via longer routes.

The RHA has a long-running campaign calling for the deployment of the French military in Calais.

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said: “Reports of violent gangs brawling at Calais highlight need for French government to stop the violence and see travellers are safe on road to Calais.”

Some 7,000 migrants were cleared from a makeshift camp in the city last autumn.

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