The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is helping drivers plan ahead with live updates on the fuel shortages in France thanks to the country’s English-speaking newspaper Connexion France.
Up to half of France’s 10,000 filling stations have run dry or are short of fuel due to protests at refineries over new labour laws. FTA members have reported lengthy queues and limits on the amount of fuel purchased, causing serious problems for UK freight operators and holidaymakers ahead of the half-term break.
In addition to information alerts that the Association is sending to its members, FTA is advising drivers heading to Europe to check the Connexions France website (www.connexionsfrance.com) which has a real-time map of availability of fuel at filling stations across the country. The map is provided by the free Essence Pas Chere mobile phone app, which can also be used once in France to find nearby filling stations which still have fuel.
James Hookham, FTA’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Awareness and planning are key if you’re travelling through France in the next few days. Try to ensure you have enough fuel when you leave the UK and if you need to fill up, check the website or app to see which stations still have fuel.
“If the situation deteriorates further, deliveries to shops could be affected as drivers struggle to get fuel. FTA hopes the protests and blockades don’t extend to the Port of Calais like last summer, when we saw unprecedented chaos and disruption to the supply chain costing our members hundreds of thousands of pounds.”
FTA has previously voiced its concerns over disruption to commercial drivers traveling through France as seen last summer, and outlined a five-point plan of measures to tackle the issues which included a call for the Port of Calais and Eurotunnel facilities to be declared off-limits to any industrial action.