الأحد , يونيو 7 2020

Quieter night at Calais Eurotunnel

Men gather beside a security fence near the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles

Around 800 migrants gathered by security fencing in Coquelles, near Calais

Fewer migrants attempted to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais overnight but the situation shows no signs of being over.

Around 800 migrants gathered by security fencing and about 300 made it into the secure area, French police said.

Migrants told the BBC’s Gavin Lee they were exhausted after days of attempts to access the terminal.

David Cameron has pledged extra sniffer dogs and fencing for Calais.

More than 600 French riot police are in Calais, working with local police.

Officers said they tried to stop migrants overnight on Friday, in what they said was a quieter night in Calais.

But they acknowledged dozens may have made it on to lorries and into freight carriages in trains.

In the UK Operation Stack, under which lorries queue on the M20 in Kent due to cross-Channel delays, has been reduced from junctions eight to 11 coastbound to junctions eight to nine.

Calais migrant crisis

Impact on Kent council social services

629

the number of unaccompanied children seeking asylum that require care from Kent county council

  • 220 the equivalent number in March 2014

  • £5.5m funding shortfall according to the council

There have been thousands of attempts by migrants to access the Eurotunnel terminal this week.

A man believed to be Sudanese was killed on Tuesday night while attempting to make the journey. He is the ninth person to have been killed trying to access the the tunnel since June.

The crisis has also led to major congestion on both sides of the Channel, with passenger services disrupted and 6,000 lorries parked on the M20 in Operation Stack.

Kent Police said the approximate waiting time for freight to reach the front of the queue was currently three hours for ferries and one hour for the Eurotunnel.

UK Prime Minister Mr Cameron spoke with French President Francois Hollande on Friday night, with the pair agreeing to work together to tackle illegal migration.

The UK is offering to replace green mesh fencing at the Eurotunnel entrance perimeter in Coquelles with solid fencing of the type normally seen at Nato summits, in addition to more Border Force search and dog teams.

France has sent 120 extra police officers to bolster security at Calais.

But Jerome Vignon, who has been working on a report about migrants in France, said they were unlikely to be deterred by the security measures.

He said many migrants would have travelled for 18 months to reach Calais, by which time they had “suffered a lot and they are out of cash” and were determined to reach the UK.

“So increasing security will be increasing casualties, I’m afraid,” he said.

Travel latest

  • M20 closed coastbound from junction eight to junction nine under Operation Stack
  • Eurotunnel says its passenger services are operating to schedule, but freight services on the UK side face a journey of about three hours to France, with a normal service from the French side
  • DFDS Seaways says its Dover-Calais services are operating within 30 minutes of schedule
  • PO ferries said its services are operating to schedule between Dover and Calais
  • Eurostar trains are currently running on time

BBC travel information

Calais crisis: Advice for travellers

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