Polish logistics chief proposes French 'sanitary corridor' for trucks

Maciej Wronski said his organisation was striving to get the initiative implemented with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Leszek Szymański/PAP

The head of Poland's Transport and Logistics Polska employers association has proposed French authorities create a 'sanitary corridor' to the Belgian border to help free lorry drivers "imprisoned" in the UK.

Maciej Wronski said his organisation was striving to get the initiative implemented with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Many Polish drivers have been stuck in southern England after the French authorities closed the border to traffic from the UK on Sunday in an attempt to halt the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus.

In an interview with PAP, Wronski said the situation at the UK-EU border had improved only minimally and that thousands of Polish truck drivers were still "imprisoned" in Dover.

Wronski added that drivers and business people are desperate for a sanitary corridor through France to the Belgian border, which would enable drivers to rapidly transit France.

"If the French are so afraid of the coronavirus, let them permit drivers coming from Great Britain to quickly pass through their country to Belgium," the logistics boss told PAP. "It's only a few dozen kilometres and for certainty they can even line the road with police and the army."

Wronski explained that he is in constant contact with the Foreign Ministry, which can quickly pass on the proposal to the French authorities.

In addition to lorry drivers stuck in the jam, he said, there were also Polish coaches carrying people returning to Poland for Christmas. He added that while truckers are used to sleeping in their cabs, tourists are not.

According to Wronski, it was already clear that many Polish drivers would not be home in time for Christmas but "hopefully they will be able to make it by New Year."

On Tuesday evening, the UK agreed with France to allow traffic to cross the English Channel. Passengers and goods drivers can now enter France if they produce evidence of a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours old.