Stranded lorry drivers need urgent assistance and end to French border gridlock

Commenting on the closure of the French border to outbound UK lorries, Unite national officer for road transport, Adrian Jones, said: 

“Drivers are suffering a nightmare before Christmas because of cross channel gridlock. Unite has major concerns that many of those stuck in the immediate delays do not have access to proper toilets, washing facilities, decent food or places to rest outside of their cabs. 

“Nor it is just their physical needs that are being compromised. Waiting for hours and hours, with no idea of how long delays will continue for, is a huge cause of stress for drivers, with many fearing they might not get home in time for Christmas.

“The government must work with the French authorities to end the border closure as soon as possible, providing drivers with tests proving they are not infectious if necessary. Emergency action is needed to ensure all stranded drivers have access to food, water, toilet facilities and other forms of support. 

“Taking care of driver needs is not only necessary for the present situation but to cope with Brexit-related delays that are literally just days away.

“Unite is also warning ministers that a further relaxation of maximum HGV driving times in 2021 won’t ease delays but will make roads more dangerous. The only solution lies in the form of a Brexit deal and clarity for businesses, as well as ensuring transit systems in and out of the country are operating smoothly.”