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'How Calais migrants attacked my lorry': Wolverhampton driver tells of ambush by asylum seekers

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A lorry driver who hails from Wolverhampton has claimed he was ambushed by asylum seekers while driving in France.

The driver, who does not want to be named, says his lorry was attacked in Calais by around 15 to 20 thugs who threw tree branches and rocks, smashing the front screen.

The attack happened in the early hours of Monday morning after he had finished making a delivery and was heading to the ferry in Calais.

The Wolves fan said other lorry drivers had also been attacked in Europe and claimed it was becoming a growing problem.

The 50-year-old said: "I was heading towards Calais from Brussels when all of sudden I came under attack.

"It was an intimidating experience to say the least, very scary.

"I've been a lorry driver since 1989 and only had a few incidents of vandalism in the past – nothing on the same scale as this. I'm quite shaken up about it.

The lorry's window was left shattered

"I think they were asylum seekers. They were trying to get into my lorry and gain entry into the UK."

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The lorry driver, who left his Wolverhampton home nearly nine years ago and now lives abroad, claimed a Spanish truck was set on fire in the same area, by people with a similar description, last Saturday.

He added: "When I told French police they weren't interested, nothing's really being done about these situations."

Reports of violence towards UK lorry drivers have been rife since last summer and the Royal Haulage Association said it had daily reports of similar attacks.

Serious damage was caused to the lorry in France

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Kate Gibbs, head of media relations at the RHA, said: "This is a growing problem and it's important we get this issue on the media and political agenda again because the situation is getting worse.

"We're having more reports of drivers being attacked in broad daylight – the methods they are using are getting more and more violent.

"They have no thought for the safety of anyone else and this is all because these migrants are so desperate to get to the UK.

"We now have the situation where UK lorry drivers are running the migrant gauntlet everyday.

"Unfortunately the safety isn't good enough for drives at the moment – even when they take every precaution.

"Everyone has the right to comfort and safety at work, but for lorry drivers driving this route, that just isn't there.

"Once these migrants bring one driver to a stop, all the others are sitting ducks.

"The Calais route is the most economic route from UK to Europe and the safety just isn't there at the moment.

"It cannot be the death of a driver which is the catalyst for action and quite frankly it's a miracle one hasn't died already. There needs to be action now."

The Royal Haulage Association is gathering evidence of disruptions to truck drivers caused by migrant action at Calais. Anyone with information can call (+44) 1274 863111.

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