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Border closure causes major haulage problems

The movement of freight vehicles across the channel has been majorly affected by France’s snap decision to close its border with the UK for 48 hours.

The decision, made in reaction to news of a new coronavirus strain in the south east of England that has landed the area in Tier 4 restrictions, is said to be causing long queues, delays and disruptions to travel between the countries.

According to the BBC, roughly 10,000 lorries travel between Dover and Calais every day during the Christmas period, with many of those set to be impacted by the ban on accompanied lorries entering France.

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Grant Shapps, UK transport secretary, has asked both the public and hauliers to avoid the routes as “significant disruption” is expected.

Meanwhile, Richard Burnett, head of the Road Haulage Association, has reacted to the French decision, deeming it both “frustrating” and “odd”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up to Money programme, he said: “Right the way through the pandemic we’ve had this principle where all the borders have remained open to critical freight, to ensure that food and medical supplies continue to move.

“We’ve had to manage different strains and different issues… We’ve worked very hard over the last nine months to ensure that the borders have been kept open, to keep that flow of products going.”

He added: “I understand that we want to try to contain the spread, but I think we’ve done that in a very practical way as a logistics industry, across Europe, throughout this year.”

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