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A Polish van driver died this morning after colliding with three trucks on one of the main approach roads to the port of Calais, fulfilling predictions that migrant activity would result in a mortality.

Both the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA) reported that the trucks had been forced to stop at a makeshift barrier set up by migrants.

After colliding with the trucks in the early hours, the van burst into flames, resulting in the driver’s death.

The RHA reported that nine Eritreans were subsequently found in the back of one of the trucks.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said he had predicted such a fatality for more than two years, and called on French president Emmanuel Macron to act.

“Our worst fears have become a reality,” said Mr Burnett. “The lives of innocent people, who want no more than to be able to go about their daily business in safety are being put at risk by those whose only aim in life is to reach the UK.”

He said current security was not sufficient to deal with the problem, adding that approach roads, as well as the port, needed protecting.

“President Macron must get a grip on this situation and we urge him to deploy the French military to provide safe passage for the thousands of UK-bound hauliers that use this route every day,” he said.

EU affairs manager at the FTA Chris Yarsley said it was imperative the French government take action to control the situation and ensure the safety of drivers using the port.

“Major roads around Calais must be effectively policed to prevent migrants creating these dangerous road blocks,” he said. “The situation for our members improved after the Jungle camp was cleared at the end of last year, but we have had reports that problems are returning.”

Some reports estimate that as many as 700 would-be migrants have returned to Calais.

In March, the FTA called on the French authorities to provide more secure parking for HGVs after motorway operator Sanef announced it would close several rest areas until the end of June.

Tony Henderson, a truck driver working for FTA member Blair Transport in Belfast, revealed his firm had a 50-mile “no stopping” zone around Calais because of the increased risk.

“Driver safety is paramount and the French government needs to step up patrols on the major routes and move-on migrants camped at the side of the road,” added Mr Yarsley.

“This death was wholly preventable and we must ensure that no-one else dies as a result of dangerous actions of migrants on the roads.”

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