Daily Brief 17 June 2013

Last update 18:15

in brief: Le Mans – Spain toll roads trouble – Toilet vouchers flushed away – clear way for Peljesac Bridge – new official WW1 battlefield driving routes Belgium – rabies Toledo – EU road safety moves – Jaguar sales boon – non-helmet wearing cyclist 20% at fault – new Karawanke Tunnel hot spot detector

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TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather alerts – Very changeable weather in west/south Europe. Check link for latest, but so far: amber warnings for high temperatures south west Germany, Hungary and Montenegro. Storms in north east Spain.

Most alarming are the storms in the Paris region and south and west France. See here for a news report.

Weather in brief – rain/storms in Western Europe becoming very warm and sunny in central and eastern areas. Mixed weather in Spain.

Crossing the Channel – No operators reporting any current delays.

Latest @CF_travel_news forecast: ‘The current forecast indicates moderate sea conditions, becoming slight towards the end of the week.’

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NOTES:

Turkey – the atmosphere remains febrile according to widespread reports following big demonstrations over the weekend, and incidents involving tourist hotels in Istanbul. Keep up to date with the latest official advice here.

Eurotunnel – “Resurfacing works will be taking place in the boarding lanes of the UK Terminal from 17 – 28 June. During this period, there will be no catering or toilet facilities available in this area. Please visit the Victor Hugo Terminal building after you have checked in to make full use of the facilities available there.”

Spain – a rabid dog was caught and destroyed in Toledo at the weekend, the first incidence of rabies in the country since 1978. Click for the official advice.

Luxembourga rehearsal for the National Day celebrations will see several roads in the city centre closed this evening.

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NEWS/PHOTOS:

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Cars – Tata Motors-owned Jaguar enjoyed a bumper month on the back of its new F-TYPE launch. The company sold 7,061 vehicles in May 2013. According to Automotive News Europe that’s a rise of 63%. Land Rover sales fell by 6%.

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EU – Denmark has won this year’s EU road safety award for cutting serious injuries by 18%, twice the average rate across the bloc. EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas says they are now back on track to achieving a 50% cut in road deaths by 2020 compared to 2010. As impressive results are achieved in reducing fatalities, the Commission now turns to serious injuries. 1.5m people are seriously hurt each year costing 2% in GDP says Kallas. He also says the Commission will not hesitate to take action against any member state not transposing cross-border enforcement directive by its end of this year deadline.

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Belgium – The West Flemish Tourist Board already has a number of set routes to take in WW1 battlefield important sites. Out this month is ‘Life at the Front’ taking in the region around Poperinge. Click for the official webpage here, and details of other routes, or local media reports here.

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Ready, steady.. Le Mans 2013

Click for the British Embassy advice for Le Mans race goers.

'Looking forward to driving down this stretch of road at over 300kph in a few days time!' tweeted racing driver and F1 pundit @AntDavidson over the weekend. It is of course the Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday. Scrutineering started yesterday with practice and qualifying due to start Wednesday. Click the link above for the official website.

‘Looking forward to driving down this stretch of road at over 300kph in a few days time!’ tweeted racing driver and F1 pundit @AntDavidson over the weekend. It is of course the Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday. Scrutineering started yesterday with practice and qualifying due from Wednesday. Click the link above for the official website.

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Germany – a judge said a woman who received serious head injuries after colliding with an opening car door was 20% responsible for the accident because she was not wearing a helmet according to this report.

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Spain – problems for the country’s toll roads have not gone away according to reports in the Olive Press. We reported last year that the situation was becoming critical as recession bound traffic levels were far below projections (though the statistics seem suspiciously similar). Meanwhile, summer season tariffs have just been introduced. The threat is that the roads could be closed though not sure how realistic that prospect is. The reports come a week after similar fears in Portugal.

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Germany – 20% of redeemable toilet vouchers are just thrown away according to figures from one service station operator as reported in thelocal.de following recent controversy that only 50c of the 70c charge to use the facilities is reclaimable at the till (despite the widely publicised price increase we were only charged 50c on our recent visit to Germany). It’s awkward because it’s natural to fill up and use the shop before using the loos. The vouchers are valid for at least twelve months though in Germany they cannot be used against fuel purchases as they can in Austria. Similar voucher schemes operate in most western European countries.

Germany’s historic Highway Churches are the subject of a photo-feature in Deutsche Welle this week. Far from dying out, the roadside places of worship – many of which have free toilets! – often have striking modern architecture.

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Bosnia/Croatia – Bosnian authorities will not object to the oft-controversial Peljesac Bridge according to reports. The bridge will bypass the Bosnian land corridor at Neum and directly link the Croatian annexe with the rest of the country. There have been concerns that a bridge would restrict access to the port at Neum as we reported in May.

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Austria/Slovenia – a unique laser hotspot detector has been installed at the Austrian north end of the Karawanke Tunnel. In one week of operation, ahead of the toll booths, it has already stopped one overheating truck from entering. The detector generates a 3D picture of the vehicle compares actual and expected temperatures. In case of overheating an alarm sounds and the vehicle can be stopped from entering the 8km tunnel.

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