Daily Brief 25 June 2013

Latest update 20:00

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Still red alert for rain and flooding Czech Republic – 3hr delays Eurotunnel freight to France

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Newslines: FCO on the Bodrum-Datca ferry – Electric car world speed record bidDenmark air quality actionSpeeding to Le Mans – new Kosovo-Macedonia border +++

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The new range Rover Sport is in the process of being introduced to the international press corps. They of course cannot say where they are, but there are sheep and lakes/rivers involved, so it's got to be Scotland?

The new Range Rover Sport is in the process of being introduced to the international press at Land Rover favourite Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire. Photo via drive.co.uk, @drive_co_uk

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TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather alerts – red alert for rain and flooding in most of Czech Republic with consequent amber warnings for rain in eastern and southern Germany, Austria and southern Poland (and the Polish Baltic coast).

Weather in brief – warm/hot and sunny in the south west and south east, rainy in the north. Windy around the Mediterranean.

Crossing the Channel – all DFDS sailings Harwich-Esbjerg have been cancelled until the end of the week (see notes below). DFDS Newcastle-Amsterdam sailings today and Thursday (25 + 27 June) arrival delayed by one hour.

Eurotunnel – passenger shuttle service back on schedule; 3hr delay for freight from UK. No other operators currently reporting any delays.

From @Port_of_Dover this morning: ‘Here in Dover sea conditions in the Channel are slight with a South Westerly breeze, force 4, and the visibility is good.’

Latest @CF_travel_news forecast: ‘Current forecast indicates slight sea conditions for the week.’

See our Traffic/Travel/Weather page for the latest.

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NOTES:

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.”

Brussels – a European Summit for Heads of State on Thursday and Friday (27 and 28 June) will mean the area around the EU buildings in the east of the city will be completely closed to all traffic and pedestrians. Residents are even being barred from putting out their rubbish. Click for more.

Bulgaria – after eleven straight days of protest against the recently elected government the British Embassy says, ‘There is a small risk of violence. Avoid large gatherings in public spaces and follow local media and the advice of the local authorities.’ For the latest FCO travel advice click here. For Bulgarian news in English see www.Novinite.com or @novinite_com on Twitter.

DFDS Harwich-Esbjerg – DFDS’ Sirena Seaways will be out of service until at least next Saturday (29 June). All departures until Friday have been cancelled. The DFDS service is the only regular sailing between UK-Scandinavia. Limited space is sometimes available on DFDS Tor Line boats between Immingham/Tilbury-Gothenburg.

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NEWS/PHOTOS:

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Bodrum-Datca Ferry, Part 1

On board the Bodrum-Datca ferry, Turkey

On board the Bodrum-Datca ferry, Turkey

He’s off again, pleasure this time not business. The British Consul-General in Istanbul Leigh Turner (@LeighTurnerFCO) is exploring the Aegean Coast in south west Turkey. Having spent some time in Bodrum – home town of Greek historian Herodotus and the theatre of Halicarnassus – now crossing the Gulf of Gokova to the Datca Peninsula on the ferry ‘Sunny Express’. The 22 mile journey takes approximately two hours and costs from 90TL (£30) for a car one way, plus 15TL (£5) for each passenger (click for more). Catch up with Leigh Turner’s previous adventures on DriveEurope: Across the Sea of Marmara With Our Man in Istanbul and Foreign Office Goes Top Gear in Tajikistan.

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UK – Drayson Racing – @DraysonRacing – will attempt to set the world land speed record for an all electric car at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire this afternoon. The current record stands at 175mph set in 1974. Lord Drayson himself will be behind the wheel. Click for more.

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French traffic police looking suitably stern after banning this young man from driving and fining him €750.

French traffic police looking suitably stern after banning this young man from driving in France and fining him €750.

France – a UK-registered (company owned) Audi R8 was caught doing in excess of 250kmh on the A28 between Rouen and Alencon on Friday, presumably on the way to Le Mans. The exact speed is unknown since the police radar gun could not read beyond 250kmh. The car was impounded, the man’s licence confiscated and he was fined €1,500. Another seven British motorists were caught doing over 190kmh according to reports. Read our run down on French speeding fines.

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Kosovo/Macedonia – the two countries signed an agreement to open a new border crossing for direct access from the third city Kumanovo through the south east of Kosovo (and from Bulgaria bypassing Serbia). This new Belanovce-Stancic crossing should open at the end of this year or early next. There are two existing crossings: from capital Skopje at Blace, and from fifth city Tetovo at Jazince.

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Denmark it wasn’t on the European Commission’s hit list for breaching pollution limits so it’s a surprise to hear that Copenhagen is considering drastic action to improve air quality. In fact, scientists say if something is not done the capital will cross pollution thresholds in 2015.. One idea is to subsidise new domestic log burners (like in Germany, a big contributor to pollution). Since the city rejected a congestion charge for cars last year that’s off the agenda so consideration is being given to a Low Emission Zone instead.

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Bodrum-Datca ferry, Part 2

On the Gulf of Gokova, arriving at the Datca Peninsula, Turkey.

On the Gulf of Gokova, arriving at the Datca Peninsula, Turkey.

The narrow Datca Peninsula is 60 miles long, lined both sides with bays and coves. Mountains rise to over 1,000m. On the west tip was the ancient city of Knidos, on Cape Krio, connected to the mainland by a sandy isthmus. In the fourth century Knidos moved to the central part of the peninsula where Datca town is today. The area is sparsely populated, spread between nine villages with tourism restricted to the discrete variety (see what Conde Nast Traveller says here). A rough road runs 45 miles to Marmaris from it’s 495 miles cross country to Istanbul.

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Germany – motoring organisation ADAC has registered as an ‘interested party’ with the Nurburgring administrators KPMG to buy both the old and new circuits, says Wirstschaftswoche magazine (via thelocal.de). They have been for sale since last May. Thirty others bidders are said to be interested. ADAC has 18m members.

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UK – the owners of the M6 Toll Road have offered the UK govt a trade-off: release us from our £100m obligation to build a link road to the M54 and we’ll let traffic use the M6 toll when it closes (for weather or accidents, not congestion) according to the BBC.

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Eurotunnel – news that the European Commission would tell the Chunnel operator to cut its charges certainly emerged in the press and social media before any official announcement last week; Eurotunnel chief exec Jean-Paul Gounon says that might constitute a breach of stock market rules. In a newsletter to investors, Gounon also called Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas’ eventual statement ‘dogmatic’ and showing ‘a serious lack of understanding’. €500m was wiped off the value of the company in the subsequent two days, closing at €5.13 on Friday according to AFP. At 13:30 CET today (25 June) the price had recovered slightly to €5.20.

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Condor Ferries – the former captain and former first mate of Condor Vitesse face criminal charges tomorrow over a fatal collision with a fishing boat in March 2011. The pair, both French citizens, will be tried at a court in Coutances, north west France. Condor itself is not being prosecuted.

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DFDS – the Danish ferry operator has withdrawn from the bidding for Scandlines after its offer was rejected said the company in a statement. Part owned by UK venture capital firm 3i, Scandlines runs ferries between Sweden, southern Denmark and Germany. The latter route will compete with the new Fehmarn Belt tunnel in 2021. Analysts cast doubt on the deal. DFDS says it, ‘continues to pursue a strategy of expanding the shipping and logistics network through value creating acquisitions.’

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One thought on “Daily Brief 25 June 2013

  1. Pingback: Daily Brief 29 June 2013 | DriveEuropeNews

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