The Freight Transport Association has called on the French Government to take “urgent action” after a van driver was killed when migrants barricaded the A16 motorway near Calais.

The van hit stationary trucks that had stopped at a roadblock of trees and rubble and burst into flames, killing the driver, the FTA said.

The FTA claimed it has warned such an incident could occur for a number of years, and has repeatedly called for the French Government to do more to keep commercial vehicle drivers safe.

“Major roads around Calais must be effectively policed to prevent migrants creating these dangerous road blocks. Authorities must do more to detain migrants and move them away from the area,” said Chris Yarsley, FTA European Union affairs manager.

“Driver safety is paramount and the French Government needs to step up patrols on the major routes and move on migrants who are camped at the side of the road. This tragic incident demonstrates the risks to drivers and other road users. This death was wholly preventable and we must ensure that no-one else dies as a result of the dangerous actions of migrants on the roads.”

The Road Haulage Association was even more extreme in its reaction to the incident, claiming that, at present, the security forces “cannot cope”.

“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. They don’t care about anyone but themselves and as a result a life has been lost,” claimed RHA chief executive Richard Burnett.

“President Macron must get a grip of 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.”