Italy toll protest – Limerick garage – Frejus fire

Yet another motorway protest in Italy. A homage to Ed Ruscha in west Ireland, and overnight fire in the Frejus Tunnel.

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ITALY TOLL BOOTH PROTESTS

Demonstrators block the automatic toll payment lane on the A4 at Milan North today.

Demonstrators block the automatic toll payment lane on the A4 at Milan North today. Photo via @LegaNordPadania

ITALY – no sign of major disruption on motorways in northern Italy today during protests over New Year’s toll rises.

Supporters of the Northern League (Lega Nord) political party picketed toll booths, and boycotted the A5 Aosta Valley motorway to and from the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

Demonstrations were held at many locations and were well attended. Protestors blocked some auto toll lanes but traffic in general was not impeded.

Autostrada toll rates are now at or around the same level as their French Autoroute counterparts (fuel in Italy has been among the most expensive in Europe for some time).

This is the fourth demonstration on or around the motorway network in recent months. Strikes by fuel station managers and toll station staff were averted at the last minute. A plan to paralyse the entire system last month by HGV associations ultimately came to nothing.

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A nod to Ed Ruscha: Irish artist Maser transformed an abandoned petrol station in Limerick, west Ireland, with ‘his/her’ characteristic bright graphic stripes. Part of a project in the city giving long-term derelict sites to urban art. Maser says, ‘I hope to create work that surprises people and questions their relationship with the familiar and the norm.’ American pop artist Ruscha famously published a set of bright, graphic photographs called ‘Twentysix gasoline stations’. See www.maserart.com

[No.27] A nod to Ed Ruscha: Irish artist Maser transformed an abandoned petrol station in Limerick, west Ireland, with ‘his/her’ characteristic bright graphic stripes. It took 70 hours. Part of a project in the city giving long-term derelict sites to urban art. Maser says, ‘I hope to create work that surprises people and questions their relationship with the familiar and the norm.’ Almost exactly 50 years ago, American pop artist Ruscha published a book of photographs called ‘Twentysix Gasoline Stations’. See www.maserart.com

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FREJUS TUNNEL – a truck fire overnight closed the tunnel in both directions but by 07:30 this morning it had fully re-opened.  The fire in itself wasn’t serious according to local reports, and there were no injuries, but caused very dense smoke. Frejus is one of three major trans-Alp tunnels, the others being Mont Blanc and Gotthard. It lies on the A43 between Chambery, France, and A32 Turin, Italy.

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