Benelux: fuel price rises, winter tyre row and new road plans scrapped.

Luxembourg: recent fuel price rises not as bad as first feared as the main motoring association calls for stricter winter tyre rules.

Meanwhile, while the Dutch government ditches its new road programme.

We're running out of Luxembourg photos... This is the A1 at xxxx, honestly.

We’re running out of Luxembourg photos… This is the A3 heading south from Luxembourg city, honestly.

LUXEMBOURG

Fuel prices rising steadily upwards

The news that fuel prices are to rise in Luxembourg always sends a shiver down the spine. The Grand Duchy’s famously cheap fuel makes the central European route south viable compared to crossing France (and its monstrous road tolls).

However, our analysis shows there’s not much to worry about. The latest increases in tax are absorbed by recent fluctuations in fuel prices. The long term trend though is clearly up.

As of last week, petrol increased to €1.39/l and diesel to €1.28/l.

This compares to the AA’s January 2013 European fuel price survey with petrol at €1.33/l and diesel €1.22/l.

However, in June 2012, petrol was €1.37/l and diesel €1.20/l according to the AA.

In May 2012 we bought diesel at major services for €1.24/l.

All is put in the shade though by the €0.96 petrol we paid in March 2009…

Note: the new petrol price of €1.392/l equates, today, as £1.23/l.

Winter tyre rules review

The Automobile Club of Luxembourg (ACL) is calling for a review of the country’s new winter tyre laws.

As of mid-December last year, in snow and ice conditions summer tyres are banned.

However, tyres marked with the M+S label, for mud and snow, are still allowed, which includes all-weather tyres.

In an open letter, ACL argues M+S tyres are inadequate since the use of the label is not regulated and can be added ‘arbitrarily’ by manufacturers.

Instead it recommends 3PMSF marked tyres, as in ‘Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake’. In addition, ACL said the minimum 1.6mm tread depth is too low.

The Luxembourg transport minister has previously publicly backed the new law.

The country roads around Lelystad, north Holland

The country roads around Lelystad, north Holland

The Netherlands

Major road upgrades ditched

The Dutch government has scrapped plans for major road upgrades in an austerity drive.

This includes a widening scheme for the A67/ E34 which cuts across the south east of the country past Eindhoven, from Antwerp (Belgium) to the Ruhr district (Germany).

The N23 south east from Utrecht to Tiel, 30 miles, shadowing the railway line, will not be built.

The N35 Almelo-Zwolle in the eastern Netherlands will not be made into dual carriageway, nor will the N50 link road from the A28/ A50 interchange at Zwolle to the A6 near Lelystad.

In other news: Dutch police are pushing to retain data from number plate recognition cameras (NPR) for up to four weeks. The move has so far been blocked over privacy concerns.

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