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Old September 27th, 2014 #2
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Bev's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: England
Posts: 38,247

As lorry drivers threaten to blockade the Port of Dover later, what is the impact of illegal migrants on those drivers who regularly make the journey across the English Channel?

Richard McMurray has been a long distance driver with Britannia Appleyard Removals, based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, for nine years, and travelled back to the UK via ferry from Calais on Wednesday night.

"Whenever I stop, I make sure all my doors are locked, and before I set off I check under the wagon.

"We travel in pairs - one will fuel up and the other will stand outside the wagon," he said.

"The migrants are blatant in what they do, and will literally stand by the road waiting for an opportunity.

"At least four or five them. Checking for unlocked doors. They don't mess about, they just pounce straight away."
Richard McMurray Richard McMurray said the 2,000 fines faced by lorry drivers caught with stowaways could ruin their lives

Mr McMurray recalled how he had been waiting in the so-called secure compound at Calais when he saw four people get into the back of an unattended lorry, while another shut the door on them.

"I waited for the driver to come back to tell him. He made sure they got out of the lorry and then checked it over."

If found with an illegal passenger on entering the UK, a driver and his employer can each be fined up to 2,000 per migrant and have their operating licence revoked.

"Fines could ruin people's lives," Mr McMurray said.

He told of another driver who found a migrant had climbed behind the windbreaker on top of his lorry.

"Unfortunately, he was heading into France and when the man began knocking he carried on driving for a couple of hours to teach him a lesson.

"I feel sorry for them in a way... they're obviously running from something."

Mr McMurray said there was a noticeable increase in French police along the main approach to the port compared to the last time he was there, and as a result fewer migrants.

"But the police just pull them out of the wagons, frogmarch them back to the gates, and they are left to try again," he said.
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