Daily Brief 5 July 2013

Latest update 18:20 UK time

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News: 30 mins delay on UK Eurotunnel terminalVery heavy weekend traffic France Spot checks for overloaded campers/caravans Germany – Colosseum car ban – DFDS Harwich-Esbjerg restarts today – Belarus police fire 22 shots at DUI – Frank Dennen killed in Russia RTA – Danube2 + E79 blockades

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Colosseum car ban

Rome: the city council will debate on Monday a proposal from the new mayor to pedestrianise this part of Via dei Fori Imperiali than runs past the Coliseum. If accepted, the road will be off-limits to cars from August.

Rome: the city council debates on Monday a proposal from the new mayor to pedestrianise the part of Via dei Fori Imperiali than runs past the Colosseum. If accepted, the road will be off-limits to cars from August. Better to ban vans in our view.

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TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather alerts – Amber warnings for high temperatures down the west side of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal and Spain. Also, storms in north central Austria.

Weather in brief – for much of Europe it will be a hot and dry summer’s day (apart from NE France, Belgium, Holland, much of Germany and Austria!)

Crossing the Channel: No operators currently reporting any delays.

From @Port_of_Dover today: not yet.

Latest @CF_travel_news forecast: ‘The current forecast indicates slight sea conditions over the weekend.’

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

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NEWSLOG/PHOTOS:

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Danube bridge revamp 2014. Danube2 and E79 Blockade threat.

Bulgaria/Romania - now the Danube 2 bridge is up and running, a thorough revamp is being planned for the alternative Giurgiu-Ruse bridge.

Bulgaria/Romania – now the Danube 2 bridge is up and running a thorough revamp is planned for the alternative, 60 year old Giurgiu-Ruse bridge (above) next year. It is likely to be closed meaning traffic will have to rely on ferries, or re-route 144 miles east to Cernavoda or 220 miles west to Danube 2 (now the New Europe Bridge). Meanwhile, farmers disgruntled with cut price produce entering Bulgaria via the newly opened Danube 2 are threatening a blockade unless the govt acts. Farmers in the south have a similar idea about the E79 to Greece. A deadline of July 11 has been mentioned.

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France – heavy traffic is forecast for this weekend, the official start of the Summer Holiday season. The national traffic service Bison Fute uses a green, orange, red and black colour coded system, from best to worst road conditions. As drivers depart this afternoon/evening and tomorrow BF has issued code orange nationwide. The Ile de France Paris has a red warning both days. According to ex-pat newspaper The Connexion, 13,000 police will be on duty, many assigned to speed checks. See our Driving in France 2013 page for more.

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Germany – many drivers are unaware there are weight limits for caravans and trailers says this five minute, English language film from Deutsche Welle. A film crew tags along on police spot checks that specifically target holidaymakers. A third were overweight. Anything up to 20% over the permissible weight sees a ‘small fine’. Anything over that sees vehicles prevented from driving any further. In many cases excess weight is caused by carrying too much water which can be drained at the roadside. Otherwise items can be transferred from the trailer/caravan to the car/van.

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Vital link for Montenegro

Montenegro - the Bar-Boljare motorway route marked in red.

Montenegro – the Bar-Boljare motorway route marked in red. The tendered road is the straightish mid-section.

Montenegro – two Chinese companies have won the first bidding round to build the vital but tricky mid-section of the Bar-Boljare motorway according to a govt announcement. Roughly tracing the Albanian border a few kilometers west, the current road between capital Podgorice and Matesevo is a renowned bottleneck in the national network and dangerous in winter, cutting through the mountains. The new road will cut the distance by one third and the journey time by 80%. The deal still has to be ratified by parliament. The 40km stretch comes in at a barely believable (but realistic) €809m, financed by a Chinese bank. Eventually the new highway will be extended south, to Bar on the coast, and north to Belgrade, the so-called Corridor 11 (X1). Work is currently advancing on the Serbian side, also by Chinese contractors.

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DFDS Harwich-Esbjerg – sailings resume today from Esbjerg at 18:45 and tomorrow 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.

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This time next week the Travel Trade Crusade will be under way! Thirty one teams of travel professionals embark on athree day adventure in five European countries, starting in Calais, taking in the Nurburgring and finishing in Amsterdam

It’s amazing how far you can go. This time next week the Travel Trade Crusade gets under way.. Thirty one teams of travel professionals embark on a three day adventure (so less time away from the office!) through five European countries. Starting in Calais, taking in the Nurburgring and finishing in Amsterdam on Sunday evening. All for charity, and covered by Travel Weekly. See www.traveltradecrusade.com for more.

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Russia – truck racer Frank Dennen of the VeKa Racing team has been killed in an road accident. The Dakkar Rally competitor was on the way to Moscow to compete in the Silk Way Rally. The team has withdrawn from the event according to a message on its Facebook page. Russian road safety organisation www.RSRussia.org says 27,991 people were killed on the country’s roads in 2012.

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Belarus – traffic police fired 22 times at a drunk driver in Minsk on Wednesday night, nineteen of them into the car. The current condition of the driver is not known though a statement later said the man has 120mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The BAC level in Belarus is 50mg (source: International Centre for Alcohol Policies. theaa.com says it is zero). This is the second time in as many weeks we’ve heard of Belarus traffic police firing at a DUI.

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NOTES:

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Sofia, Bulgaria: the essentially peaceable nature of the anti-cabinet (not anti-govt) enduring protests. Photo via @Vesey, Vesey Crighton from cleves.bg luxury apartment rental.

Sofia, Bulgaria: the essentially peaceable nature of the anti-govt protests. Photo via @Vesey, Vesey Crighton from cleves.bg luxury apartment rental.

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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 two 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.

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.

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