Jean-Pierre Devigne, a senior official at France’s largest trucking union, the FNTR, confirmed that lorries and tractors would converge on Calais on Monday in two go-slow motorway protests from Dunkirk and Boulogne.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “We want to drive slowly on the motorway A16 from Dunkirk to Calais: one group from Dunkirk and a second from Boulogne, arriving at Calais to stop the lorries on the motorway. The farmers will join us on the way. We are determined to show that we are not happy with the situation. We [will] stay for the time we need.”
He said the truckers want a date for the dismantling of the camp, which is home to up to 10,000 refugees and migrants, a minority of whom have attacked lorries approaching the port and damaged farms. “We are waiting for a reply to the demand we [made] to the French authorities. It is about the dismantling of the Jungle. We have no date exactly.”
Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), said he was “very concerned” about the impact of the protest. “If this blockade actually blocks the port up then it’s going to strangle the port and we are going to see implications back on British soil as well as French.”
French lorry drivers have threatened to blockade the port of Calais for days, causing severe travel disruption in France and the UK, unless a date is set for dismantling the “Jungle” refugee camp.