• France's news in English
'Great wall of Calais' won't stop migrants, aid group says
Photo: AFP

'Great wall of Calais' won't stop migrants, aid group says

The Local · 9 Aug 2016, 16:28

Published: 09 Aug 2016 16:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Britain is spending some €2.7 million on a concrete wall along the main approach road to the ferry port of Calais in a bid to prevent migrants and refugees from trying to jump aboard trucks bound for the UK.

Work was supposed to start on the wall on Monday, according to reports in the French press, after a rise in migrant incursions onto the road where they have used rocks, shopping trolleys and tree trunks to stop trucks before clambering aboard.

But the Home Office in the UK has said it will not commence until September.

The wall will be four metres high and will stretch for a kilometre along the main dual carriage way leading to the port, known in French as the Rocade.

It will be built in addition to the current barbed wire fencing that has proved fairly ineffective in blocking migrants cramped in the squalid Jungle camp from accessing the road.

Some aid groups however say the wall, which will be watched closely by CCTV cameras, will do little to prevent or dissuade those desperate to reach the UK from taking their chance.

Yolaine Bernard, vice president of the Salam aid organisation which helps migrants told The Local it was a complete waste of British tax payers money.

"It's not going to change a thing. These people will still try and scale the wall and it will just result in more of them being injured," she told The Local.

"There's no easy solution to this issue, but it's a shame to spend all that money on something that won't work."

The aid agency says measures like extra fencing and the flooding of lowlands around the port only add to the risk and lead to extra deaths among migrants.

Bernard said tensions were high in the so-called Jungle camp this summer due to the fact that an estimated 6,000 migrants are squeezed in.

After French authorities cleared the southern part of the camp earlier this year there is simply less space to accommodate more people.

Britain has already splashed out several million to build a huge fence around the Channel Tunnel port and the rail tracks leading up to it, but even lorry drivers say the new concrete wall will do little.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association has already called it a waste of money and believes the wall will shift the problem further down the road.

Migrants have also been jumping aboard trucks in motorway rest areas on the motorway leading to Calais.

Burnett says lorry drivers are now being advised not to stop withing 150 km of Calais.

"It is imperative that the money to pay for a wall would be much better spent on increasing security along the approach roads,"  he said.

Migrants themselves also say they won't be deterred.

"I have to go to the UK. How will I get there? We will try anything, even by boat," a 30-year-old Sudanese refugee called Erfan told France-Bleu radio.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available