The Freight Transport Association recently warned many UK lorry drivers travelling internationally may struggle to find a fuel source near the Port of Calais, France, as protests over a new labour market reform bill continue.
French motorways are holding up drivers with blockades of protesters, also meaning truckers struggle to fill up their tanks as many blockades seal off petrol stations.
Many stations have been closed due to the strikers or left with minimal supplies of petrol due to the protests around Calais, meaning many who could eventually find a station for fuel were only allowed to purchase 30 euros of petrol at a time as consequence of the protests and the issue stations are facing regarding fuel transportation. This has also had an impact across France, meaning many drivers are struggling to find fuel nationwide.
The association predict the problem will only worsen in the next few days as rallies are predicted to proceed over a new labour market reform bill.
There is concern this will have an impact on the Euro 2016 football championship. While the Government promises the fuel crisis will have no impact on the championship there is no word of when the strike is set to end. There will also be an estimated 500,000 UK football fans crossing the Channel over the next few weeks putting additional pressure on the Government to end the protests.
In regards to the protests, President François Hollande stated: ““May 1968 involved millions of people, students occupying universities, workers occupying factories,” he said. “This is just a traditional conflict.”
In discussion of last summer’s protest by ferry workers, deputy chief executive of the FTA, James Hookham stated: “The damage caused to our members was far-reaching and this can’t be allowed to happen again. The Port of Calais handles £89 billion worth of the UK trade every year – it’s a vital trade route that must be protected.”
The police force have tried to contain the strikers as much as possible, resorting to using tear gas and water cannons to control the protesters. The strike could also have a major impact on tourism in France over the summer. The protests are predicted to continue Tuesday and Thursday.