24 September 2013

Last updated 18:15 BST.

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NEWS: Merc wrong side of road warning – EC in Gibraltar – Fantasy ferry – Fantasy Tesla sales.

Channel delays: An earlier cancellation means 2h30 delay Eurotunnel UK freight service currently.

Weather alerts: No Red or Amber weather warnings so far today.

Weather: fine and dry mostly but snow in Scandinavia and rain in the east.

Traffic: see @DE_Traffic from 09:00 BST.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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Nearly, but not quite.

Nearly, but not quite. Mercedes’ new Traffic Sign Assist cannot tell you in all situations if you are driving on the wrong side of the road. It can only do so when there’s a road sign, like No Entry. But it does raise the prospect that at some stage your car will be able alert you if you do drive on the wrong side of the road, thus addressing one of many Brits major anxieties about driving on the Continent.. Finally, one of these new fangled semi-autonomous driving systems we can approve of.

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Gibraltar – the border fact finding mission from the European Commission will arrive tomorrow. A statement from the EC says they will be looking into the checks at the border with Spain and also tobacco smuggling. They won’t be investigating the artificial reef, ships refuelling or re-sanding. There is no deadline for the EC to publish its report, and they won’t be talking to the media.

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Tesla is currently topping the MNorwegian sales charts, for all vehciles, not just EVs. has sold a remarkable number of its all electric EV in Norway since its launch last month. In the six weeks up to 16 September the company shifted 511

Tesla is currently topping the Norwegian sales charts, for all vehicles, not just EVs. In the six weeks since launching the Model S the company shifted 511 units. In the first two weeks of September it sold 322 Model S beating the VW Golf into second place with 256 sales. It’s a remarkable result for a car which sells for around €80,000. Thanks to generous subsidies and high import taxes the Model S is relatively less expensive in Norway than in other European countries, plus an initial sales surge is to be expected with what is already a cult product. Even so, the end of month figures will be interesting.

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Roundup: Italy. The van driver who backed in to a 15th century statue in central Padua yesterday, smashing it to pieces, had ignored signs banning vehicles from the area. Luckily, ‘La Statua della Gatta’ – statue of a cat, which marks the highest point in the north east coastal city – can be fully restored says the mayor. Russia. We’ve just noticed the daily death toll counter on Road Safety Russia’s website. Horrifying. On a more positive note the govt today approved a £600m (34.2bn RUB) federal programme for road safety and, an interesting post on Truckblog – about a recent trip to Krasnodar by Nick Ireland – is pleasantly surprised about the quality of many of the roads, but notes the number of accidents at night. Croatia. Police arrested a driver with ‘4.25 per mille’ Blood Alcohol Level, compared to a potentially fatal limit of 4. Not sure how that compares to the UK where the limit is 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The man was fined €1,000 and banned for 18 months. Georgia. There’s a war of words between the Georgian govt and their Russian counterparts over the new fence along the South Ossetia/Abkhazia border, though rapporteurs from the Council of Europe have sided firmly with the Georgians.

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Fantasy ferry.

Fantasy ferry time. Ramsgate Council is looking for a new operator after TransEuropa sadly went bust earlier this year. With a high-volume business clearly not viable, perhaps it’s time to consider other, more comfortable ways of getting across the Channel?? Possibly using this Rolls-Royce designed and powered vessel, above (currently sailing between Capri and Sicily). TransEuropa sailed to Ostend in Belgium, good for avoiding French road tolls/heading for northern Europe, but the new service wouldn’t have to go there, obviously. We’d be interested to hear your ideas. Our preference would be wood panelled, fine dining ferry-on-demand, sailing anywhere we damn well wanted to go, from Nordkapp and Murmansk to Barcelona, Civitavecchia, Ploce or Istanbul. What do you think?!

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