Last updated 20:45 BST.
Monday 28 October 2013.
The wind is currently down to Force 5 in the Channel. Situation steadily resolving.
Channel delays: Eurotunnel Freight UK: 30mins delay due to high volume. P&O Dover-Calais on time apart 80min delay Spirit of Britain. MyFerryLink next departure 22:00 from Dover. DFDS Dover-Calais/Dunkirk delayed 60mins each.
DFDS Newcastle-Amsterdam knock on delays tomorrow. Passengers to check in at normal time.
DFDS/LDLines Dieppe<>Newhaven + St Nazaire-Gijon cancelled. Le Havre-Portsmouth delayed til 19:00.
A technical problem on Pont Aven and bad weather affects many Brittany Ferries‘ services though order is now being restored. Bad weather is disrupting Condor Ferries services though some alternatives are in place.
Stena Harwich-Hook not reporting any delays.
Weather alerts: Red alert for high winds east Germany, west Sweden, Poland, Estonia and Latvia. Amber alerts high winds south England, north Spain and Denmark.
Weather: Heavy storms northern Europe and south west else sunny and dry across the south.
See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.
Speeding to the Elysee Palace.
A senior commander in the Paris traffic police has threatened to withhold Christmas and New Year holidays from officers not catching at least three motorists per day.
The government denies there are official quotas but there’s no doubt: the police are under pressure.
Road deaths have been cut by 12.8% overall this year, significantly below the average annual reduction of 15% they need to meet the official pledge of ‘under 2,000 deaths each year by 2020’.
At stake is not just a government promise but the reputation of the man in charge of its delivery, Interior Minister Manuel Valls.
In sharp contrast to President Francois Hollande’s record low approval rating of 23%, the intensely ambitious, Barcelona-born Valls is the only member of the government enjoying any kind of popularity.
Part of the ‘efficient left’, Valls is becoming known as a hard man. His recent tough stance on immigration – deporting a Roma girl during a school trip – has played well with the general public. He was also voted the ‘sexiest politician alive’ by Elle magazine readers last month. He stood against Hollande in the last presidential primary but lost out badly after proposing to remove the word Socialist from the party’s name.
Right or wrong, the French are in no doubt that speeding is the biggest cause of fatal road accidents. Since the first radar trap was unveiled – coincidentally, ten years ago yesterday, by another action man Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy – road deaths have been cut from nearly 8,000 each year to under four thousand.
The point is, anybody thinking that the current crackdown on speeding is a flash in the pan is clearly deluding themselves. Those enjoying the feeling of pedal on metal should give France a wide berth for the foreseeable future. Why not head south via Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany instead?
Cabbage Patch Cops.
FRANCE. Up to 1,000 farmers, hauliers and local businessmen protesting against the upcoming electronic truck toll ECOTAX lit bales and piles of tyres in west Brittany on Saturday. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. It follows a quieter ‘symbolic’ action on Wednesday when the toll gantries were covered over. More demonstrations are planned next Saturday. LUXEMBOURG. Police plan a month of random tyre and light inspections in November. Last year winter tyres became mandatory in snow and/or ice from 1 October onwards though All-Weather tyres marked M+S (mud and snow) on the sidewall are also acceptable (the majority of UK tyres are summer specification).