Daily Brief 27 June 2013

Latest update 19:00

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Continuing Red Alert for flooding Czech Republic – DFDS Dover-Calais 30min delays

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Newslines: Belarus road tolls go live – new Ireland safety kit from 2014 – Mobile roaming charges cut by 36% from 1 July

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It turns out the Porsche Performance Drive from Chisinau in Moldova to Bratislava in Slovakia was less a jolly for well-heeled customers than an at-least-half blown competition. Nine teams from eight eastern European countries took part in a succession of driving tests, on and off road, along the 1,000 mile route which also included Ukraine and Poland. Full report soon.

It turns out the Porsche Performance Drive from Chisinau in Moldova to Bratislava in Slovakia was less a jolly for well-heeled customers than an at-least-half blown competition. Nine teams from eight eastern European countries took part in a succession of driving tests, on and off road and track, along the 1,000 mile route (which also included Ukraine and Poland). Full report soon.

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TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather alerts – continuing Red Alert for flooding in central/west Czech Republic. Situation seems to be improving over the course of this week. Amber alert for rain south east Finland and storms north east Italy.

Weather in brief – showers, some heavy, in central and northern Europe. Fair and warm in the south.

Crossing the Channel – DFDS Dover-Calais currently running 30 minutes behind schedule. Click for more. Dover-Dunkirk not affected. DFDS sailings Harwich-Esbjerg resume on 5 July (see notes below). DFDS Newcastle-Amsterdam (Ijmuiden) sailing Thursday 27 June arrival delayed by one hour on 28 June.

No other operators currently reporting any delays.

From @Port_of_Dover this morning: ‘Here in Dover sea conditions in the Channel are slight with 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:

Portugal – a General Strike has been called for Thursday (27 June). The amount of disruption will not be known until the walkout starts at 00:00 but most public services are likely to be disrupted. See Reuters for the latest.

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 – continuing political demonstrations. 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 – sailings resume on Friday 5 July from Esbjerg at 18:45 and the day after from Harwich at 17:45. The DFDS service is the only regular car/passenger sailing between UK-Scandinavia. Limited space is sometimes available on DFDS Tor Line boats between Immingham/Tilbury-Gothenburg.

Luxembourg – the A4 south west of the capital will be closed all weekend while the ‘Sandweiler’ roundabout on the A1 east of the city (junction with N1a, and N2) will close overnight on Friday and Saturday. Diversions in place. Click for detail.

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NEWSLOG/PHOTOS:

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For whom the BelTolls: roads in red covered by Belarus' new radio road toll system.

For whom the BelTolls: roads in red covered by Belarus’ new radio road toll system.

Belarus – BelToll, a new radio road toll system goes live on 1 August though the system will be up and running from 1 July for a month of testing. Austrian firm Kapsch TrafficCom AG has been contracted to deliver the service which will cover 815km of Belarus’ motorways, including the whole length of the M1 from the Polish border at Brest via capital Minsk to the Russian border at Redki. Vehicles under 3.5t registered within the Customs Union (Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan) will be exempt, and motorbikes, but all others will have to pay. Users should pre-register for an on-board unit. The website – www.beltoll.by – is in English. A toll calculator will be online soon. Click for official announcement.

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Ireland – a new Road Traffic Bill will see all drivers required to carry a breakdown/emergency pack including a first aid kit, high-viz vest, torch and reflective triangle by the end of 2014. Police officers will also be able to take blood samples from unconscious drivers suspected of drink/drug driving (as in Finland). Cyclists will also be liable for on-the-spot fines, among a host of other measures (tip via www.ideas4adis.co.uk driver trainer suppliers, @Ideas4ADIS).

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Condor Ferries – released a short video of photos compiled from the reconstruction works on Weymouth berth as the firms gears up to restarting services on 17 July. Substantial.

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EU – ‘From 1 July the EU cuts maximum prices for data roaming by another 36% (from €0.70 to €0.45/MB, plus VAT),’ tweeted the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes this afternoon.

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