Carstairs truck firm counts cost of Calais trouble

A Clydesdale haulier is this week counting the cost of making deliveries to France after the latest incident involving migrants at Calais left him with a truck wrecked.

Monday, 11th July 2016, 11:04 am
Updated Monday, 11th July 2016, 12:07 pm
Lorry damaged at French port

A. L. Campbell Haulage 
reckons the total bill for the damage will be around £100,000.

For most of us the scenes at Calais are far away, and the regular bulletins on the national news have little to do with us.

But Dick Campbell in Carstairs is sending trucks to France and back every day, and his drivers are being confronted with ambushes set up to stop vehicles on the roads in the hope that migrants can get on board and be carried into the United Kingdom.

“Basically they are burning bales of straw and having fires lit on the dual carriageway,” he said.

In the latest incident at the weekend one of his trucks collided with a lorry being driven by a Lithuanian “not a regular there” and unused to dealing with such traps.

As Dick’s driver eventually tried to pass him, the other driver pulled out again then braked immediately, and the vehicles collided.

Fortunately the driver was not injured.

The tractor unit is only 26 months old, and almost wrecked.

“It is lying over there in France, and it might never be back on the road, it is that bad,” said Dick.

The refrigerated container, just weeks old. also suffered damage.

The Carstairs firm had sent down three lorries on Thursday night, and one was returning without a load and was able to lift the trailer off the damaged tractor, but the cost of the damage could be around £100,000.

The Campbell family business has been going for 30 years, and now runs deliveries every night to France for the markets there.

“I started going out there in 1997 and there weren’t any fences round about the Eurotunnel or the ferry terminal then.

“Now it is like going out and in to a jail because of all the immigrants trying to come in,” said Dick.

“There are a lot of trucks being damaged.

“We had the sister truck of that damaged just weeks ago. People threw bricks at it.

“The paint is damaged on a regular basis.

“It is not nice.”

The family business has grown steadily over the years, and lorries leave every night for France.

“We send fish out on a daily basis, fish from the north of Scotland to France for markets in Boulogne and bring in various different things on the way back,” said Dick.

And despite the increasing problems, he has no plans to change that.