Daily Brief 4 July 2013

Latest update 18:09

.

News: Rolls-Royce Alpine Rally concludesDutch smoggy pavements – Luxembourg car and cash scams – Congestion charge holiday GothenburgSpain deadliest hotspot camera’dincrease checks Belarus/Latvia border – Greece roads restart confirmed – Kazakhstan new roads

.

DFDS Dover-Calais – ‘DFDS Seaways regret to advise our Dover Calais services are operating with delays up to 45 minutes due to operational reasons.’ Dover-Dunkirk services not affected.

Condor Ferries – Rapide operating at reduced power today (4 July) St Malo-Jersey-St Malo with some rescheduled departure and arrival times, see here.

Brittany Ferries – ‘Cherbourg to Portsmouth 20:45hrs – We’re sorry to advise this sailing will be delayed. One of the ship’s four engines has developed a fault which has reduced her speed. The ship is now expected to leave Cherbourg at 22:15hrs and arrive in Portsmouth at 00:45hrs. Latest check-in is 20:45hrs.  We do have alternative sailings out of Cherbourg and Caen that will arrive in the UK earlier, please call 0044 870 333 1101 for advice.’

.

The Futa Pass. Not a mountain pass in the traditional sense but a spectacular road nonetheless. SP65 runs parallel to the A1 between Bologna and Florence, and is a brilliant alternative to the motorway slog (and toll free too). Used as a stage on the famous Mille Miglia Rally, and where Lamborghini and Ducati test out their latest machines.

The Futa Pass, central Italy. Not a mountain pass in the traditional sense but a spectacular, twisty road nonetheless. SP65 runs parallel to the A1 between Bologna and Florence, a brilliant alternative to the motorway slog (and toll free too). Used as a stage on the famous Mille Miglia Rally, it’s also where Lamborghini and Ducati test out their latest machines.

.

TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather alerts – Amber alert high temperatures south west Spain, north and south west Portugal and Montenegro. Also, storms south central Austria.

Weather in brief – Sunny and warm through southern Europe, some rain in Scandinavia.

Crossing the Channel: DFDS sailings Harwich-Esbjerg resume on 5 July (see notes below). No other operators reporting any current delays.

From @Port_of_Dover today: ‘Here in Dover sea conditions in the Channel are moderate with West Sou Westerly, force 6 and the visibility is moderate.’

Latest @CF_travel_news forecast: ‘The current forecast indicates slight to moderate sea conditions during the week.’

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

.

NEWSLOG/PHOTOS:

.

Rolls-Royce Alpine Rally 2013 concluded. Click for the full story.

Magnificent. It's absolutely not the done thing but it's vaguely emotional to report that the Rolls-Royce Alpine Rally re-run has concluded after 1,800 miles and sixteen days. The final two days were spent tackling the 240 mile drive from Lake Bled in Slovenia to Vienna, via Semmering and the Hotel Panhans. The rally culminated in a reception at Kursalon in central Vienna.

Magnificent. It’s absolutely not the done thing but it’s vaguely emotional to report that the Rolls-Royce Alpine Rally re-run has concluded after 1,800 miles and sixteen days. The final two days were spent tackling the 240 mile drive from Lake Bled in Slovenia to Vienna, via the Hotel Panhans at Semmering, century old cars cruising at a barely believable 60mph. The rally culminated in a reception at Kursalon in central Vienna. Picture courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd.

.

Luxembourg – drivers are being asked to look out for small holes appearing under their car door handles. Thieves are using this method to gain access to the car without triggering the alarm. In most cases nothing is stolen but police say any items with address details are being used to rob victims’ homes. Also, it might be coincidence but there are two reports today of large amounts of cash being discovered in Italian-registered cars. In one case, just over the border with Germany, a man was found with  €100,000 in 100 and 200 Euro notes. In another, just over the border in France, a motorist had €550,000 in 100 Euro notes inside the spare wheel. Finally, roadwork season continues… a section of the A4 southwest of the city to the French border will be closed this weekend. Click for details.

.

Gorgeous Gothenburg from the Stena Line ferry October 2011. We'll have to go back cos we're getting bored of using this photo.

Gorgeous Gothenburg from the Stena Line ferry October 2011. We’ll have to go back cos we’re getting bored of using this photo.

Sweden – the Congestion Zone in Gothenburg has been suspended, as planned, for the month of July. Meanwhile, the longer term future of the Zone remains in the balance after the city council voted last month to hold a referendum following a large scale petition. No date or question has yet been set. The zone has so far raised 314m SEK (£31m) towards the Vastsvenska paketet (West Swedish Package) a transport rehab programme that includes a new road tunnel under the Gota alv River (among many other things). The project will be under threat if the Congestion Zone is rescinded. The total costs of the Vastsvenska paketet are estimated at 34bn SEK. Traffic continues to fall compared to levels before the zone was introduced though the rate is falling, from a 20% cut in January to just 12% in May. Also, the national government has put back the date when foreign vehicles will be charged in both Stockholm and Gothenburg’s congestion zones to mid-2014 at the earliest.

.

The Netherlands – spraying titanium oxide onto a pavement in Hengelo has reduced nitrogen oxide pollution by nearly twenty percent on average and up to 45% on occasions. Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology conducted the experiment over the last year. Similarly, after an EU warning over air pollution, authorities in Bucharest announced on Monday that the city’s streets would be sprayed with water and detergent each night from now on in a bid to reduce dust levels.

.

Spain – police will install new speed cameras at an accident hotspot on the A7 ‘Autovia del Mediterraneo’ in southern Spain. The Olive Press describes the sharp corner on the dual carriageway around La Cala de Mijas as one of the coast’s deadliest hotspots. Fifteen crashes were once recorded in a single week.

.

Belarus/Latvia border delays – outbreaks of African swine fever have lead to a ban on meat and dairy products from Belarus according to an official news agency report. Pathogens can also be transmitted via luggage so expect enhanced border checks.

.

Greece: an already complete section of the Aegean motorway between Thessalonica and Lamia.

Greece: an already complete section of the Aegean motorway between Thessalonica and Lamia.

Greeceaccording to media reports, the European Commission has finally fully okayed funding for work to restart on the country’s motorway network. Provisional go-ahead was given in April and work re-started immediately. See our previous report ‘Roads restart gets Greek economy back on track’ for more.

.

Kazakhstan – work has started on a 178km four lane highway between capital Astana and Temirtau (Karaganda industrial region) says Trend News Agency. Built to ‘European standards’ the road should be in service by 2016. Part of a large road building project in the country, visited this week by UK prime minister David Cameron. Work on 2,000km of roads, building and reconstruction, starts this year. One section, Astana to Chelyabinsk (Russia) will form part of the Western Europe-Western China highway. Click for a map.

Meanwhile, an enterprising young man has been questioned by police after causing a minor Youtube sensation by driving his self-built motor-bath (complete with sink trailer) on the streets of southern Kazak city Almaty. The 22 year said he wasn’t breaking any laws since he was driving in the right hand lane only. Good to know.

.

NOTES:

Brittany Ferries passengers from Santander: To avoid possible congestion. Passenger vehicles arriving from Santander are advised to turn right immediately after exiting the port, then follow signs for Exeter A38 (Light vehicles).

Bulgaria – continuing anti-govt demonstrations, day twenty one today. 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.

Turkey – despite some no-go areas on the Syrian border, general Foreign Office travel advice has been downgraded after the riots of recent weeks. Click for more.

.

Have Your Say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s