Daily Brief 22 July 2013

Latest update 18:15 UK time.

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in brief:

Channel: Eurotunnel: UK ok, 30mins delayFrance.

Weather: very warm but thunder + rain widespread.

Traffic: rush hour.

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Note: @MyFerryLink warns: ‘There are currently delays at immigration in Calais and we advise customers heading to the port to allow extra time for their journey.’

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News: Question mark on Onega Highway – worrying safety stats Luxembourg (and Kazakhstan) – BMW i3 UK pricing – 119th B’day first race – next Struma lot ready –

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Close to home. Okay, some parts of the Netherlands are some of the most densely populated arts of the earth,

Close to home. Okay, parts of the Netherlands are some of the most densely populated parts of the earth, especially the Randstad, the area between Amsterdam, Utrecht the Hague and Rotterdam. Outside that it’s not far to go to find quiet, peaceful countryside, perfect for aimless, gentle cruising, especially in the relatively wild north. If you only have a few days, head to the north coast. Recommended: Groningen.

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TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather risk alerts – Amber risk of forest fire south Norway and for storms Greece mainland.

Weather in brief – very warm but with widespread heavy rain and thunder: UK, Alps, Italy, Greece, Finland, Russia, northern Spain.

Crossing the Channel: Eurotunnel: French terminal: ‘There is currently no waiting time before check-in, however due to earlier cancellations, there is a waiting time of approximately 30 minutes on the terminal.’

No other operators currently reporting any delays.

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

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TRAFFIC: 16:00 UK time.

France: Westbound A29 up to junction with A28 north of Rouen. A29 westbound up to the junction with A28 which is slow southbound from there. The A6/A7 in Lyon has been slow all weekend and again today.

Germany: the A1 north (east) bound from Hamburg towards the Denmark ferry at Puttgarden and Lubeck is busy again (still busy but not jammed, 14:30).

A8 eastbound at Stuttgart.  A72 westbound to the junction with A93. A9 southbound past Leipzig, across junction with A38. A9 southbound from Nuremburg to Ingolstadt/Munich. A5 southbound into Basel.

Netherlands: The A2/A67 intersection south of Eindhoven has been busy all morning, stationary/slow traffic westbound. A12 eastbound into The Hague and junction with A4 which is also slow northbound from the junction with A13.

Switzerland: Gotthard Tunnel queues: 3km, 30min delay southbound, 2km northbound.

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NEWS:

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Luxembourg – road safety is supposed to be increasing in every EU member state. Even Romania and Bulgaria made significant strides in cutting road deaths between 2001 and 2010, according to the latest figures available from the European Union Road Federation. In the same period in Luxembourg fatal traffic accidents fell by 40% but there are worrying signs that trend might be reversing. There were 33 fatalities on the country’s roads in 2011, and 34 in 2012, but already this year there have been 22 deaths, 12 in the last six weeks alone (and another since then). Of course, in such a small country – with just 500,000 residents – figures can be easily skewed. So far there does not appear to be a particular cause. But if the carnage continues we can expect rigorous action in the popular transit country, especially attractive because of its cheap fuel.

Meanwhile, in Kazakhstan, the number of road accidents has risen 49% in the first six months of 2013 says BNnews agency, though they were overwhelmingly on local roads. Road deaths rose by 5%, to 1,167 (for 17m population). Injuries increased by 59%. ‘Drivers’ low discipline’ is cited as the main cause; 8.3% of all accidents are caused by vehicles on the wrong side of the road, 21.6% due to speeding.

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France – drivers are being asked not to drive through Paris in the next few days as the heat wave threatens to raise pollution (ozone) to dangerous levels. @CityBrussels, the official twitter feed, also warned about very high ozone levels today and tomorrow though no advice has been issued.

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The hotly anticipated BMW i3 electric city car will cost from €34,950 says BMW in a statement. According to Autocar that equates to £25,680 in the UK, including the govt’s £5,000 EV grant. The i3 will launch on 29 July, simultaneously in London, New York and Beijing. The first deliveries start in November.

The hotly anticipated BMW i3 electric city car will cost from €34,950 says BMW in a statement. According to Autocar that equates to £25,680 in the UK, including the govt’s £5,000 EV grant. The i3 launches on 29 July, simultaneously in London, New York and Beijing. The first deliveries start in November.

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Finland/Russiawork has already started on the Onega Highway, a road stretching from the Finish border at Parikkala to Petrozavodsk, deep in the Karelia region of north west Russia (see Daily Brief, 26 June). Awkwardly though, the Finns have yet to decide whether to make Parikkala an official border point, or make plans to upgrade Route 6 which heads from there via Lappeenranta to Helsinki even though, apparently, some sort of contract has been signed. The 426km Onega Highway will cost $4.6bn and is expected to take six years to build.

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Bulgaria – another section of the Struma Highway – running south from Sofia to the Greek border – will open tomorrow (23 July). Nearly 13km of Lot 1, the southernmost portion, from Dolna Dikanya to Dupnitsa will be open to traffic from 01:00. It means all motorway from Sofia to Dupnitsa, cutting 30 minutes off the journey south.

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Racing – the first motor race took place on the 22 July 1894, between Paris and Rouen. The route, 76 miles, was on what is now Route Nationale 14, Route de Paris. RN14 was itself built on the Roman road Chauseee Jules Cesar (Julius Caesar) and is still noticeable straight for much of its length. Jules-Albert de Dion – he of the De Dion rear axle – was first across the finish line, in 6h48m (an average speed of 19kmh) in a steam tractor but was disqualified because his vehicle needed a stoker. Peugeot and Panhard et Levassor shared the honours instead.

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NOTE:

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.

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