A big demonstration to protest the migrant crisis is planned on the A16 at Calais next week. Foreign hauliers are invited – but everyone else should avoid it.
Also, drivers should beware of cattle heading down the Alps. And, tourist fined €800 for driving to Iceland plane wreck. Hire car ‘Brexit Charge’ to be refunded. Istanbul’s new bridge is an all-round record breaker.
FOREIGN HAULERS INVITED TO CALAIS A16 BLOCKADE
Motorway blockade planned for next Monday to protest Calais migrant crisis.
Demonstrations on French motorways are usually the bane of visiting drivers’ lives – but the one in Calais next week might be more welcome than most.
Haulage union FNTR – one of a host or organisations involved in the all-day protest about the migrant crisis in Calais – says foreign hauliers and drivers are welcome to take part.
FNTR Pas de Calais secretary general Sebastien Rivera tells @DriveEurope, ‘Naturally European companies and drivers involved in the migration presence in Calais are invited to come forward with us on the 5th September.’
However, he adds, ‘The problem can only be resolved by France. The EU and the UK should also be more willing to curb and regulate migration.’
Vehicles will converge at the port junction of the A16 in a two-way blockade expected to last until 18:00.
One assembly point is at Outreau near Boulogne, at Parking de Garromanche on Boulevard de l’Europe.
The other is at Loon Plage, west of Dunkirk, at Rue de l’Europe near Lavatrans.
Vehicles rally from 06:30 before departing at 07:30.
The only proviso is that the demonstration is yet to be approved by the local authorities.
Reports in the French press at the weekend (also here in the Daily Telegraph) say Calais residents and local businesses may form a human chain between the road block and the port which could stay in place ‘indefinitely’ (until the migrant camp is removed).
The Calais migrant crisis made the headlines in the UK last week after new dashcam videos emerged of people traffickers threatening truck drivers, and throwing branches and other objects into the road to stop vehicles. Hannah Scott and several other truckers and hauliers appeared on the BBC World Service ‘Have Your Say’ programme on Friday evening with some shocking accounts of the daily trouble at the port.
Our consistent advice has been to avoid driving into Calais port overnight on the A216/N216 link road from the A16 motorway. Drive into the port from the town centre.
Also: a meeting between the new UK Home Secretary and her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve in Paris today reaffirmed their commitment to ‘juxtaposed’ border controls (where each country carries out passport checks on the other’s territory – the arrangement credited with keeping the migrants in Calais). The subsequent statement reveals the UK has spent €100 million on security in Calais so far and that the current 1000 strong day and night police force at the port has just been reinforced with 160 new officers. It also says there are plans to further secure the port and the Channel Tunnel. Cazeneuve will also visit Calais this Friday.
roundup: ICELAND. A foreign tourist was ‘fined’ €800 after driving up to the crashed Dakota aircraft in Sólaheimasandur. Cars are banned from the site – which recently starred in a Justin Bieber music video – but the man of unspecified nationality drove through an open gate. When he tried to leave in his hire car the gate was locked and he was forced to pay the sum by the landowner reports Iceland Review. Such a charge is illegal says the tourist authority. A complaint has been made to police. Tourists are allowed to walk to the wreck. HIRE CARS. British drivers who have had a ‘Brexit charge’ added to hire car bills will have the money refunded. As the value of sterling dropped in the wake of the vote, Avis charged extra fees which varied from £2 to £11 reports Travel Weekly. The firm blamed ‘miscommunication’ and vowed to refund affected customers. TURKEY. Istanbul’s ‘Third Bosphorus Bridge’ – the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge which opened on Friday – has broken construction, height and width records. With towers at 322 meters (1056ft) it is the tallest suspension bridge in the world; its eight lane highway – with central space for two rail tracks – makes it among the world’s widest at 59 meters (192ft); and at 27 months from start to finish – nine months ahead of schedule – it has likely broken the building record for its total 2164 meters (7100ft) length reports Next City. It also cost just $2.88 billion. Around 200 miles of new roads have been built to serve the new crossing. Trucks are required to use the new bridge, to the north of the city, to relieve traffic on the other two further south.