Calais Opens ‘Highly Secure’ New Truck Park

A new truck park hopes to improve security at Calais – at least inside the port.

Also, dramatic truck fire in Spain. Kent plan to split Dover and Eurotunnel traffic. Call for British armed sea marshals aboard cross-Channel ferries. Eurotunnel freight carries its millionth truck already.

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CALAIS OPENS ‘HIGHLY SECURE’ NEW TRUCK PARK

CCTV and new fences protect truck park for 1100 vehicles.

Sometime today, Calais Port will open a new buffer zone for trucks, near the old hoverport, before the check-in lanes. Full details are scarce so far, but the picture above shows separate lanes for hard-sided and soft-sided vehicles. Calais Port calls it 'intelligent parking'. There's no news yet either on security features. More later.

As of 09:00 this morning, trucks heading into Calais port are directed via a new, secure and computerised ‘buffer zone’.

Spread over four hectares, the new truck park has fifteen lanes with space for 1100 heavy vehicles. Free wi-fi is available throughout the port.

‘It will also be highly secure thanks to a CCTV system and new security fences’, says Calais Port in a statement.

P&O Ferries Freight said the new buffer zone would make security checks easier for freight traffic. 

The port decided to overhaul security at the end of last year, to withstand the arrival of 300 HGVs all at once. It was built in four months.

It is located near the old hoverport, before the check-in lanes, directly from the N216 port access road off the A16 and A26 (see map).

Waiting times will be substantially reduced says Calais Port. Vehicles can be parked depending on truck type, or by operator.

From the end of September, the parking management will be automated through a process described as ‘dynamic signalling’.

The new truck park will not directly solve the biggest security issue at Calais – migrants setting road blocks on the port road – though it may help make vehicles less vulnerable by reducing stationary queues into the port.

Truck driver Hannah Scott had a near miss last night when migrants threw wood into the road.

She told us, ‘Migrants tried to stop my truck but police beat them to it and cleared the road, wood was soaked in petrol. I’m just glad they turned up, God knows what would of happened to me if they lit the petrol!’

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spain

Nothing so boring as a fire engine to put out a refrigerated truck fire this afternoon on the AP7 northbound to France at Girona, Spain. Delays stood at 2h00 at 14:00BST  but subsequently dropped to thirty minutes and were gone by 16:00BST (but back up to 40mins since..). Photo @BombersCat

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roundup: Kent County Council want to split coastbound traffic with drivers heading to Dover using the M2-A2 and those heading to Eurotunnel using the M20. Its new Local Transport Plan, out now for public consultation, says the proposed Lower Thames Crossing would open up a strategic route between Dover, the Midlands and the North. That the M20 route Is favoured by more drivers was evident during the recent border control queues: delays on M20/A20 topped six hours compared to just two hours on the M2/A2. Total upgrade works are priced at £393 million… meanwhile, Dover MP Charlie Elphicke has called on the UK government to follow the French lead and introduce armed sea marshals on board channel ferries. Currently each nation’s armed personnel are not allowed to operate in each other’s waters. The Daily Mail says Elphicke is an ally of new Prime Minister Theresa May… also, as of today, Eurotunnel freight has carried its millionth truck of the year, almost a month ahead of 2015. Every month since last November has been record said the Channel Tunnel operator in a statement.

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