Daily Brief 8 July 2013

Latest update 19:40 UK time.

.

Super hot Spain & Portugal – Channel crossings running to plan – accident A12 into Den Haag, queue subsiding by 19:40

.

Traffic roundup – Belgium: E40 eastbound into Brussels (particularly from Gent) was busy from first thing as ever though delays persisted until lunchtime. Westbound cleared fairly early on. France: The A6 northbound into Paris was slow moving all day, queues backing up first to the Melon junction, then Fontainebleau. Germany: Persistent queues at the junction between A6 and A7 west of Nuremburg, caused by roadworks on the A6 at this point westbound.

.

News: Windy500 raises £17k – the Silvretta route – fuel Spain/Portugal – Tesla Goodwood debut – Dover Docks at 60 – Slovenia truck tolls cancelled

.

Random pic: lost in the Pyrenees. Really lost.

Random pic: lost in the Pyrenees. Really lost.

.

TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather alertsAmber alert for high temperatures Portugal and western Spain (down from red alert over the weekend) and Montenegro. Now amber alert storms west Austria.

Weather in brief – ‘A very warm to hot and mainly dry day to come across Europe. There are some showers forecast across The Alps and across Italy. Temperatures will climb into the low 40s across Portugal and Spain.’

Crossing the Channel: No operators currently reporting any delays.

From @Port_of_Dover today: ‘Here in Dover sea conditions in the Channel are calm with North Easterly breeze, force 5, and the visibility is moderate.’

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

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

.

NEWSBLOG:

.

Windy500 – the 23 country, 23 day, 5,500 mile pan-European adventure drive has raised an impressive £17,000 for charity according to the latest blog post by organiser Steve Blackmore. The original target was £10,000. The teams arrived back yesterday. Most of the proceeds go to children’s hospice Julia’s House in Dorset.

.

Silvretta Classic Rally – 180 all-time classics, including a 1957 BMW 507 and a 1929 4.5 litre ‘Blower Bentley’, took part in this year’s event starting at Partenen in the Montafon Valley, west Austria. If it's good enough for them.

Silvretta Classic Rally – 180 all-time classics, including a 1957 BMW 507 and a 1929 4.5 litre ‘Blower Bentley’, took part in this year’s event starting at Partenen in the Montafon Valley, west Austria. If it’s good enough for them.

.

Spain and Portugal – fuel prices are falling in Spain but rising in Portugal, widening the traditional gap on petrol. Diesel prices are roughly comparable. Average prices for unleaded are €1.43/l and €1.56/l respectively compared to €1.34/l and €1.36/l for diesel. However, Spanish unleaded is marginally up on the start of the year while diesel has fallen by about the same. In Portugal the reverse is true. These figures from local media are broadly in line with the most recent AA Fuel Price Report.

.

Dover – from an initial forecast 10,000 vehicles a year to an actual 100,000 – now up to 4.5 million – the Port of Dover has come a long way in its sixty years. The car terminal officially opened on 8 July 1953. While the latest figures out today show an increase of 11.3% in freight vehicles over the first half of 2013, the number of cars was down 3.1% in the second quarter, and 1.8% so far this year.

.

The first Tesla Model S Performance Plus is finally heading to the UK.

The Tesla Model S is finally heading to the UK.

Electric cars – the Tesla Model S Performance Plus – which accelerates from 0-60mph in 4.2s – appears in the UK for the first time at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Soon after, journalists get the first chance to drive this potentially revolutionary car on UK soil (though no prices have been released yet). Meanwhile, ABB announced today a new contract to install a fastcharge network in the Netherlands which will put all 16.7m citizens within 50km of a point capable of fully charging their car in under 30 minutes. Starting this September, finished by 2015. Lastly, Luton-based Chargemaster said today it will list on the AIM stockmarket to raise £6m to expand its already 2,800 point strong network. After a period of relative quiet, and with the new BMW i3 due for imminent launch – and Audi technical boss Wolfgang Durheimer reportedly sacked last month for ignoring EVs – sees the subject suddenly speeding back to the top of the agenda.

.

Road safety – there were two reports of head-on crashes caused by cars driving on the wrong side of the road over the weekend, so called ‘wrong way’ crashes, but thankfully neither involved UK drivers. Unfortunately there were fatalities in both incidents. The first involved a young man from Luxembourg, apparently DUI, the second an elderly couple from Vienne in western France.

.

Slovenia – a truly terrible week for Kapsch TrafficCom. First the road toll provider admitted its failure to understanding Belarus’ legal system led to a month’s delay starting the BelToll system. Now it has emerged the Slovenian govt last week cancelled its tender for a similar (truck) toll network, its second attempt in three years. Kapsch was the only bidder.

.

Italy – The newly elected left leaning Mayor of Rome is ruffling transport feathers right and centre. The cycling-mad former transplant surgeon Ignatzio Marino last week proposed a controversial pedestrianisation of Via dei Fori Imperiali, the road running past the Colosseum. Now traffic police chief Carlo Buttarelli has resigned after a row with Mayorino, apparently about street vendors. We eagerly await his next move.

.

NOTES:

Turkey – after some days without protests, police were out in force over the weekend in Istanbul. See latest FCO travel advice. British Embassy staff found six tear gas cannisters in the grounds on Sunday morning and six more this evening.

Bulgaria – continuing anti-govt demonstrations, day twenty five 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.

.

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