Dozens of migrants attempt to storm Calais terminal

Eurotunnel say services delayed and cancelled after migrants attempted to access restricted areas on the French side

A migrant receives a medical consultation at a field dispensary set up by the French doctors group Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) at a makeshift tent city located in a field in Calais, France. France and Britain agreed on Thursday to step up efforts to discourage migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to stow away on vehicles crossing the Channel between the two countries. Calais is one of the front lines in a wider immigration crisis in which European countries are struggling to agree among themselves how to deal with growing numbers of migrants fleeing conflict or poverty.  Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

A migrant receives a medical consultation at a field dispensary set up by the French doctors group Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) at a makeshift tent city located in a field in Calais, France. France and Britain agreed on Thursday to step up efforts to discourage migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to stow away on vehicles crossing the Channel between the two countries. Calais is one of the front lines in a wider immigration crisis in which European countries are struggling to agree among themselves how to deal with growing numbers of migrants fleeing conflict or poverty. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

 

Channel Tunnel services between the UK and France were disrupted after around 150 migrants tried to storm the terminal in Calais in a bid to board UK-bound freight.

Eurotunnel said services were delayed and cancelled after migrants attempted to access restricted areas on the French side.

The incident caused a return of queues on the M20 in Kent for lorry drivers trying to cross the Channel after Kent Police reintroduced Operation Stack.

It also prompted renewed calls for authorities to act to solve the worsening Calais migrant crisis, which is costing the UK economy millions of pounds.

The Fresh Produce Consortium estimates that £10 million of fresh fruit and vegetables have been thrown away since the start of the year as a result of the problems.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said the incident was affecting freight traffic only, with passenger services running to a full timetable.

He said: “Eurotunnel reiterates its call to the authorities to provide a solution to the migrant crisis and restore order to the Calais region.”

The Port of Dover, which faced heavy disruption this week due to striking ferry workers in France, said it remains “open for business”.

A port spokesman said P&O Ferries was operating a full Dover-Calais service, while DFDS Seaways was running full services to Dunkirk.

Migrants have been taking advantage of slow-moving and queuing traffic by trying to board UK-bound vehicles, forcing some drivers to take long detours to skip Calais altogether.

British home secretary Theresa May and her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve this week agreed to increase the joint intervention fund to improve security around the port and the Channel Tunnel.

French aid workers have reported a “catastrophic” situation, with predictions that 2,000 more migrants could arrive over the summer at the camp, dubbed Jungle II.

Volunteers from l’Auberge des Migrants say up to 50 new migrants were arriving every day at the camp, and there were not enough tents, blankets or food.

British travellers have been advised to keep vehicle doors locked in traffic and when unattended in Calais.

PA