Daily Brief 30 August 2013

Last updated 00:00 BST.

NEWS: Major Eurotunnel delaysNew Sprinter Camper debutFirst Tesla supercharger opens – France weekend traffic warning – Transcontinental tragedies.

See below for the latest Traffic/Travel/Weather.

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What do you make of campervans? Honestly, it’s only a matter of time for us. But which one? Ideally it’d be a sportscamper 911 with pull out beds in the back, power shower and heated loo seat but in the absence of that, or anything like it, what about the Mercedes New Sprinter?

What do you make of campervans? Honestly, it’s only a matter of time for us. But which one? Ideally it’d be a sportscamper 911 with pull out beds in the back, power shower and heated loo seat but in the absence of that – or anything like it – the best we’re going to do is probably something like this Mercedes-Benz New Sprinter. Mmmn. Three litre 190bhp turbodiesel V6, the latest safety aids like crosswind and blindspot assist, 7G autogearbox, a service interval of over 35,000 miles – and – that panoramic sunroof for great views first thing in the morning. Do you really sleep up there? No word on prices yet but it makes its debut at this weekend’s Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf. Google it.

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Channel delays: Condor – more disruption tomorrow.

Eurotunnel: a power failure ‘in the process of being resolved’. Delays: Passenger from France 8h30mins, no delay from UK. Freight 7h30 UK, 5h France.

Both P&O and DFDS run 24 hour services between Calais and Dover, and DFDS between Dunkirk-Dover. Phone P&O on 08716 64 21 21. You need to book in person at DFDS as their phone line is now closed.

Expect to pay around €140-150 (see @harlomo). Dunkirk is 30 miles northbound from Calais on the A16.

The other Dover-Calais operator, MyFerryLink phone lines have closed and online booking is not possible for same day fares. Maybe enquire at Calais booking office.

Weather alerts: Amber: heavy rain south east Spain coast.

Weather: dry and sunny except in the central Med., the north, and north east.

Traffic: see @DE_Traffic from 09:00, major delays on major routes.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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NEWS:

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FranceBison Fute is warning of a busy weekend on the country’s roads though – apart from code red (second most serious warning) for the south west tomorrow – the worst they predict is code orange (one up from normal) for returning traffic, from today until Sunday. Thelocal.fr has all the details. The roads most likely to be affected in the south west are the A63 from the Spanish border to Bordeaux, and the A10 from there via Poitiers-Tours-Orleans to Paris.

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Tesla Supercharger. The first European fast charging station opens in Norway today, one that delivers half a charge in 20 minutes, for free (the company says it will always be free to use for Model S cars). Tesla is being slightly coy about exactly where this new Supercharger is. The website shows six are live already in central and south Norway, though obviously that cannot be right... seems the company has definitely got the hang of dribbling out info for maximum publicity. Let's just hope these Superchargers are rather more forthcoming! With European sales gathering pace - there are owners now in Norway, Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland - there is still no word on precisely when Model S will land in the UK, or how much it will cost. update: it turns out they have opened all six today. Now 90% of Norwegians live within 320km of a supercharger, i.e. well inside the Model S's 425km range tweets @TeslaMotors.

Tesla Supercharger. The first European fast charging station opens in Norway today, one that delivers half a charge in 20 minutes, for free (the company says it will always be free to use for Model S cars). Tesla is being slightly coy about exactly where this new Supercharger is. The website shows six are live already in central and south Norway, though obviously that cannot be right… seems the company has definitely got the hang of dribbling out info for maximum publicity. Let’s just hope these Superchargers are rather more forthcoming! With European sales gathering pace – there are owners now in Norway, Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland – there is still no word on precisely when Model S will land in the UK, or how much it will cost. update: it turns out they have opened all six today. Now 90% of Norwegians live within 320km of a supercharger, i.e. well inside the Model S’s 425km range tweets @TeslaMotors.

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Bulgaria/Serbia/Hungary – the sheer numbers of migrant workers returning from holidays in Turkey to western Europe is having unfortunate consequences for transcontinental roads. We reported earlier this week about a tragic accident involving Dutch and French registered vans on the road Nis-Belgrade, Serbia. More horrific details emerged yesterday. There’s been another terrible accident today on the M5 in Hungary with three dead and 33 injured, eighteen serious, six critical in a pile up ‘chain crash’.

Meanwhile, massive queues (some say 50km long) have been reported at the Kalotina border crossing between Bulgaria and Serbia. The wait at the Horgos border Serbia-Hungary is up to four hours. The authorities are warning the situation will get worse over the weekend. At the same time, people smugglers are taking advantage of the situation: 106 illegal immigrants were found in the past 24 hours at the Turkish-Bulgaria border, including 79 from Syria. It is worth noting however that the ‘vast majority’ of illegal immigrants into the EU come through airports says border agency FRONTEX.

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