Daily Brief 9 August 2013

Last updated 18:00 BST.

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in brief:

Channel delays: none reported currently.

Weather: rain north, sunny south.

Traffic: See @DE_Traffic.

News: Dutch priciest fuel EU – Brest-Khorgas jolly – new Ruse bridge – road plan Romania – Greek holidays – Lux looks to UK.

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Tunnels. Accidents are rare, injuries even rarer, but if the worst happens in a tunnel, do you know what to do? www.theaa.com has

Tunnels. Accidents are rare, injuries even rarer, but if the worst happens do you know what to do? The AA has a sensible safety leaflet, worth a read. Safety standards vary, even in western Europe (though the Austrian and Swiss tunnels are so well kept you wouldn’t be surprised to see potted plants inside). Silly though it sounds you cannot rely on lighting, so beware of prescription sunglasses that you will have to change, behind the wheel, in the dark. Also, never run out of fuel. It’s an offence and will cost you a fortune. The picture above is from Bosnia where water dripped in through the sunroof but the worst tunnels we’ve been in are in Italy, specifically the ones down the side of Lake Iseo in the north. Unlit, fume filled and busy. Never again!

The AA Tunnel Safety leaflet.

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WEATHER.

Meteoalarm weather risk alerts – Red alerts for high temperatures in Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Slovakia and east Poland.

Amber alerts for heavy rain south east Germany, storms and high temps Austria, and storms south Italy.

Weather – Dry in Denmark, in the Low Countries (for most of the day) and Germany, otherwise showers/rain. Fine across Spain/Italy/Greece.

TRAVEL.

No operators currently reporting any delays.

See Traffic/Travel/Weather for more.

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NEWS.

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Fuel – hundreds of Dutch petrol stations near the borders with Germany and Belgium are under threat because citizens opt for cheaper fuel abroad. Researchers say 53% of those living within 20km of the border cross over to fill up according to DutchNews.nl. By AA figures only Norway has more expensive fuel than the Netherlands where a litre of unleaded costs €1.84, compared to €1.71 in Belgium, €1.60 in Germany (and €1.39 in Luxembourg, €1.56 in France and €1.58 in the UK).

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Roadtrip of the week – a 5,500km, fact finding road trip from Brest in west Belarus to Khorgas on the Kazakhstan/China border to study ‘the state and development of international motorways, the organization of the road service, traffic safety and environmental issues in the construction and use of motorways in the Commonwealth of Independent States.’ Officials from the Belarus Transport and Communications Ministry will depart in a ten car group on 27 August and finish on 7 September. Tradewise, Belarus considers developing this road is of the highest priority. Check the route.

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Romania will cut the toll for crossing the Giurgiu-Ruse bridge from €6 to €3 from early September, almost bringing into line with the €2 it costs to cross from the Bulgarian side. The 60 year old bridge is in need of thorough renovation. A massive, spontaneous pothole on the Bulgarian carriageway caused huge disruption in the spring. The two sides have agreed on the need for a new crossing and will hopefully formalise the arrangements in November.

Romania will cut the toll for crossing the Giurgiu-Ruse bridge, above, from €6 to €3 from early September, almost into line with the €2 it costs to cross from the Bulgarian side. The 60 year old bridge is in need of thorough renovation. A massive, spontaneous pothole on the Bulgarian carriageway caused huge disruption in the spring. The two sides have agreed on the need for an extra crossing, hopefully formalising the plan in November.

Romania – another 140km of highway between Sibiu and Lugoj will be completed this year says Dan Sova, minister for infrastructure. One section Orastie-Sibiu could be delayed for a few months because of a landslide. Although there will still be other sections missing, the new road would bring the country tantalisingly close to having a motorway running continuously from the Hungarian border in the west to the centre of the country, a distance of some 300km in all.

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Greece – police are bracing themselves for busy roads from this weekend as the tourist season gets into full flow ahead of the public holiday next Sunday, 15 August.

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Luxembourg – police will be out in force 10-18 August on an anti-speeding campaign. Each month the authorities concentrate all efforts on one particular transgression. Last month it was documents.

Meanwhile, road safety agency Securite Routiere has called for tougher penalties and more research on safety, looking to the UK, Netherlands and Sweden. We reported recently that, in defiance of the general trend across Europe, road deaths have been increasing in Luxembourg over the past three years.

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NOTE:

Crossing the Channel – All operators are warning passengers to leave plenty of time for journeys to the port. With availability often limited at this time of the year, late passengers may have to want considerable time for space, and/or be liable for extra charges.

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