Daily Brief 17 July 2013

Latest update 19:30 UK time.

.

in brief:

Ferries: P&O + DFDS Dover-Calais and Eurotunnel Freight delays.

Weather: warm + sunny but some thunder about.

Traffic: see @DriveEurope.

.

News: Italy fuel strike called off – Luxembourg motorway speed limit cut to 90kph – New discount card for Italy toursCondor returns to Weymouth – Aston Martin rally kicks off in Como – Serb oak tree. Saved.

.

She's back. After a year of repairs and £4m, Condor Vitesse returns to Weymouth

She’s back. Let’s hope this time she’s back for good. It’s taken 17 months, and £4.47m, but Condor Ferries finally returned to Weymouth yesterday, greeted in force by the locals. The service came to a sudden halt last year because of a crumbling harbour wall but the council threw itself behind the repairs, while the terminal building – in walking distance of the town centre – has been spruced up too. Vitesse departs for Guernsey at 11:30 this morning. It’s quite an interesting service, to St Malo in France via the Channel Islands. Passengers can connect almost immediately or stop over for a night or two. Mmmmmn.

.

TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather risk alerts – Amber alert for storms Greece; high temperatures Montenegro and risk of forest fires Latvia, Estonia and south Norway.

Weather in brief – plenty of sunshine and warm weather but thunder likely in central France and central Spain.

Crossing the Channel: DFDS Dover-Calais: We regret to advise the following departures on our Dover Calais service are operating with delays of up to 30 minutes due to port movements. Departing Dover at 1915 and 2115 and departing Calais at 2000 and 2300. Please still check in at the port on time for your scheduled departure.’

P&O Calais-Dover-Calais, Spirit of Britain only:We regret to advise that due to operational reasons the following sailings are expected to sail 35 minutes later than the schedule departure. Calais-Dover 19h55, Dover-Calais 21h20. All other services are operating to schedule and are on time with space available.’

Eurotunnel Freight: ‘Due to high volume of traffic, the journey from check-in to arrival in the UK will take approximately 2 and a half hours.’

No operators currently reporting any delays.

Latest from @Port_of_Dover: ‘Here in Dover sea conditions in the Channel are slight with an East Nor Easterly breeze, force 4, and the visibility is moderate to good.’

Latest from Condor Ferries’ forecast: ‘The current forecast indicates slight sea conditions for the week ahead.’

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

.

NEWSLOG & PHOTOS

.

Italy – the fuel strike has been called off following an appeal from a senior industry figure. Normal service resumes at 06:00 tomorrow morning, 18 July. A meeting will be held on 25 July between all the parties.

90% of major road filling stations are on strike according to a statement by one of the associations involved FAIB. The strike started last night at 22:00 and lasts until 06:00 Friday morning, affecting petrol stations along motorways and city ring roads. Particularly badly affected are the A1/A3 Milano-Reggio Calabria; A14 Bologna-Bari, the A4 Turin-Venice, as well as the Milan and Naples bypasses. Apart from this we haven’t seen any tales of chaos, hoarding, huge queues outside the filling stations that are open or clueless tourists stranded on the hard shoulder. Local filing stations – urban, suburban and rural – are not affected.

.

Luxembourg – the motorway speed limit has been lowered to 90kph due to prevent smog says wort.lu. It’s not unusual in the summer apparently. Drivers should refer to the overhead gantries on motorways for the latest. See here for English language real-time Luxembourg travel info.

.

New discount card for touring in Italy.

The Italian Touring Club - I association with the Foreign Ministry - has launched a new discount card for visitors to Italy this year. For an annual charge of €25 holders get discounts (from 10-25%) on participating hotels, restaurants, museums, hire car, etc. See www.touringcard.it/en for more.

The Italian Touring Club – in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – has launched a new discount card for visitors to Italy this year. For an annual charge of €25 holders get discounts (from 10-25%) on participating hotels, restaurants, museums, hire car, etc. See http://www.touringcard.it/en for more.

.

Aston Martin Rally to London.

Aston Martin Rally. The participants are probably quite looking forward to this. One of two specially organised tours - the other in the UK - ahead of the company's Kensington Garden's party on Sunday to celebrate the company's centenary. The European leg starts in Como and heads back tot he UK via St Moritz, Lake Constance, Stuttgart, the Nurburgring and Spa.

Aston Martin Rally. The participants are probably quite looking forward to this. One of two specially organised tours – the other around the UK – ahead of the company’s Kensington Garden’s party on Sunday to celebrate the company’s centenary (free and open to all). The European leg starts in Como today, heading back to the UK via St Moritz, Lake Constance, Stuttgart, the Black Forest, Nurburgring and Spa (among other places). One hundred Aston Martins take part, appropriately, including some rare old timers and at least one One-77 hypercar. Click the link above for more.

.

600 year old Serb oak tree saved from road builders.

Not the actual oak tree, if it is an oak tree. Photo: Department of Nature Protection Serbia.

Not the actual oak tree, if it is an oak tree. Photo: Department of Nature Protection Serbia.

Serbia – cutting down old trees brings bad luck according to Serb folklore. In the absence of churches, big trees were often places of worship. Hence when it came down to a choice between the possibly 600 year old oak tree in Savinac, central Serbia, and the long planned route of Corridor XI, the road lost out. Officials said they were unaware of the problem until pylons for the bridges either side had been sunk and the earthmovers were ready to move in. ‘Everybody kept silent until they collected the money,’ planning minister Velimir Ilic told parliament yesterday, according to inserbia.info. Ilic says the bridges will be shifted slightly putting the project back by two months. Corridor XI is an important road, ultimately a direct link between Belgrade and the Adriatic (at Bar in Montenegro). The Montenegrin govt signed a letter of intent with a Chinese company last week to build the most difficult, central section of the road on its territory.

.

Did we mention Condor is back in Weymouth?

Did we mention Condor is back in Weymouth?

.

NOTES:

Turkey – after some time without protests the situation is unpredictable again. See latest FCO travel advice.

Bulgaria – anti-govt demonstrations becoming a permanent feature. 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