23 September 2013

Last updated 18:30 BST.

.

NEWS: Norway roads/tunnel overhaulA German vignette – Austria traffic up and down – Wraith to Vienna.

Channel delays: Eurotunnel passenger: 30mins delay at French terminal.

Weather alerts: Amber alert for flooding Sweden and high winds Poland and Slovakia.

Weather: warm west, cool east, showers central.

Traffic: see @DE_Traffic from 09:00 BST.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

.

Norway – following the serious near-miss fire at the Gudvanga Tunnel in August, and a general election campaign this month in which potholes were a major factor, a £10.5b (100bn NOK) roads improvement programme has been announced. The priority is tunnels with 200 to be renovated or even replaced by 2019. Norwegian tunnels overall did quite poorly in a recent European Safety Audit. Up to half the budget however will be spent on improving the roads themselves. Around half of the 65 projects will open before 2017 with the rest starting construction 2014-17. The plan will now be submitted to the counties for the their approval with a deadline of 20 December 2013.

.

Ich bin mit Mutti. The official German election results are in: Angela Merkel has

Vignette. Merkel eyes the driver’s seat, but who will her passengers be? It could be weeks until we know the eventual outcome of the German election. For now, all we know is that without an absolute majority Angela Merkel will not be at the mercy of her sister party leader Horst Seehofer and his demands for foreign drivers to pay to use Germany’s roads. The most likely overall result at this stage is a Grand Coalition with the left leaning SPD who, like Merkel, are opposed to the road tax. But they have their own demands on road pricing and congestion zones, etc. What is certain is that Germany has to come up with a way of improving its roads, and decide how to pay for it. Half of the country’s bridges, 20% of the autobahns and 40% of highways are in need of repair according to recent figures. Update: Merkel has opened talks with the SPD though there no indications yet about what is on the table. Seehofer meanwhile is keeping uncharacteristically quiet.

.

Austria – the most congested road this summer was the central A10 Tauern motorway Salzburg-Villach, claiming 15% of all jams, followed by the A1 Salzburg-Linz-Vienna on 11.3%. In third place was the B179 Fussen/Reutte Fernpass in the north west of the country at the Germany border. This comes as no surprise to us at @DE_Traffic. After a record low in 2012, tourist traffic jumped by 20% this summer according to official figures from OAMTC. Jams were less intense than previous years however, mostly thanks to a tunnel widening programme, and traffic was more evenly spread over the weekend. The most congested region was Tyrol in the west, including Innsbruck. The biggest cause of congestion was accidents at 45% then sheer weight of traffic at 33%.

.

A Wraith to Vienna.

Hats off to him, Top Gear magazine journalist Ollie Marriage drove a Rolls Royce Wraith from Berkshire to Vienna, in one day, arriving unruffled in time for dinner (it seems the biggest problem was negotiating his way into the priority lane on Eurotunnel). That’s 951 miles in 12h50 driving time, at an average speed of 76.1mph and an equally impressive 23.8mpg (considering the Wraith’s 2.3t is powered by a 624bhp V12). Having driven virtually the same route we know it’s true to say the landscape isn’t fabulous, but from Cologne it’s A3 more or less the whole way, with plenty of opportunities to open the taps. Great drive. You should do it. Check out the story online via the link above, or see the October issue of Top Gear. Picture courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd.

Hats off to him, Top Gear magazine journalist Ollie Marriage drove a Rolls Royce Wraith from Berkshire to Vienna, in one day, arriving unruffled in time for dinner (it seems the biggest problem was negotiating his way into the priority lane on Eurotunnel). That’s 951 miles in 12h50 driving time, at an average speed of 76.1mph and an equally impressive 23.8mpg (considering the Wraith’s 2.3t is powered by a 624bhp V12). Having driven virtually the same route we know it’s true to say the landscape isn’t fabulous, but from Cologne it’s A3 more or less the whole way, with plenty of opportunities to open the taps. Great drive. You should do it. Check out the story online via the link above, or see the October issue of Top Gear. Picture courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd.

.

RoundupPortugal. Fuel prices have fallen again, today, by an average two cents per litre. Average prices before the cuts were €1.402 diesel and €1.576 petrol. Belarus. EuroShell fuel cards are now accepted on the new electronic toll system. See www.beltoll.by for more. Rome. Employers’ federation Confcommercio has urged Rome mayor Ignazio Marino to go further with his pedestrianisation of Via dei Fori Imperiali, the road around the Coliseum. The still controversial scheme has seen protestors – residents and shop keepers – threaten a ‘massive invasion’ of the famous landmark. Moscow. A govt committee has recommended limiting officials’ car allowance to $47,000, a proposal originally put forward by anti-corruption blogger and mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny. Meanwhile, a third of the road building budget has been cut in the Moscow region. Major improvements had been planned for the main thoroughfares next year but have either been scaled back or postponed following an audit. The cuts are not expected to impact plans for the Moscow Great Ring which is a federal project.

.

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