Daily Brief 28 August 2013

Last updated 19:15 BST.

NEWS: Romania’s new Minister for Transport – Cannonball 2000 police warning – Aston Martin on Ice – Serial tyre-slasher reward – Gudvanga Tunnel to reopen.

See below for the latest Traffic/Travel/Weather.

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Introducing Ramona Manescu, former lawyer and MEP, now Romania's newly inaugurated Minister for Transport. She's got her work cut out, in the wake of previous fiascos with road constructors Bechtel and Alpine

Introducing Ramona Manescu, former lawyer and MEP, now Romania’s newly inaugurated Minister for Transport. She has her work cut out. In the wake of recent fiascos with road constructors Bechtel and Alpine, much of the country’s badly needed motorway network remains at best unfinished (don’t ask what happened to her predecessor, or the chap nominated in the interim). You can rely on us to keep a close eye on progress.

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Channel delays: Condor – disruption expected to last until Friday. Eurotunnel Freight UK, two hours.

Weather alerts: Amber: heavy rain/storms south central Spain; storms west coast Italy, storms north Serbia.

Weather: pleasantly warm though with risk of thundery showers, see above, plus central/Alps.

Traffic: see @DE_Traffic.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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NEWS:

Cannonballers get their collars felt.

A Cannonball2000 McLaren is stopped by Luxembourg police. Photo via www.wort.lu.

A Cannonball2000 McLaren is stopped by Luxembourg police. Photo via http://www.wort.lu.

Cannonball 2000 – organisers reacted angrily to news the Swiss police in Vaud canton had issued a warning to participants to respect local traffic laws. @Cannonball2000 accused thelocal.ch, who broke the story, of lazy journalism for saying Cannonball’s website did not mention Swiss speed limits but the tweet was deleted soon after (the website does contain a lengthy set of terms and conditions but does not mention specific motoring laws in the countries visited). In a press release (French only) Vaud police said drivers in previous Cannonball 2000 rallies ‘rarely conform to the laws and traffic regulations’ and that they were closely monitoring the event, including setting up extra speed traps and putting chase cars in place. They also threaten to confiscate cars caught far in excess of speed limits. The Cannonball 2000 rally left London yesterday, spending last night in Amsterdam. Today’s leg takes them south through Germany via Karlsruhe and Stuttgart and on to Geneva this evening, a distance of nearly 700 miles.

update: The Luxembourg press report ‘most drivers appeared to be on their best behaviour’ as the rally passed through the Grand Duchy this afternoon, though a UK registered Ferrari and McLaren were stopped by waiting police.

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Aston Martin on Ice. A two day trip to St Moritz in Switzerland learning to handle the quintessential British sports car on the slipperiest surface. The all-inclusive package, apart from travel to the resort, includes six hours tuition on a frozen lake, accommodation at the Kempinski Grand Hotel and use of cars, fuel, insurance, etc. There are eight separate sessions, all in early February next year. The maximum number of drivers is 20. It costs €3,200 per person though you can take a non-participating guest for €600. Be quick, two sessions are sold out already and another two are for German speakers only. See www.astonmartinonice.com for more. The company also offers a four day, driver-only ice driving course in Lapland next February for €5,900.

Aston Martin on Ice. A two day trip to St Moritz in Switzerland learning to handle the quintessential British sports car on the slipperiest surface. The all-inclusive package, apart from travel to the resort, includes six hours tuition on a frozen lake, accommodation at the Kempinski Grand Hotel and use of cars, fuel, insurance, etc. There are eight separate sessions, all in early February next year. The maximum number of drivers is 20. It costs €3,200 per person though you can take a non-participating guest for €600. Be quick, two sessions are sold out already and another two are for German speakers only. See http://www.astonmartinonice.com for more. The company also offers a four day, driver-only ice driving course in Lapland next February for €5,900.

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round up: Germany. A €2,500 reward has been offered to help catch a serial tyre-slasher in Trier. Late on Monday night 194 cars had their tyres damaged beyond repair in the town close to the Luxembourg border. Serbia. Two children died early this morning in a collision between a French registered car and a Dutch registered car on the Nis to Belgrade highway says B92. Twelve other people were injured. Norway. The Gudvanga Tunnel will finally reopen for all traffic this Friday according to local reports. It has been open to supervised columns of commercial vehicles since last Friday. Police have warned drivers to expect delays of up to two hours as repair work is on-going following the fire on 5 August. Freight. The TIR Executive Board says Russia’s decision to withdraw from the international haulage system, from 14 September, is in breach of the convention and should be cancelled.

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