Motorists angry at plans to reduce speed limits threaten a nationwide go-slo protest in France this weekend while Dutch protestors block the Afsluitdijk causeway motorway today. The Serb president’s armoured €1m GL500 has been written off – and an end date for the west Serbia Corridor XI motorway announced – there’s a new touring app for the east Baltic, read a complete crib sheet on the upcoming trucks and car tolls in Germany, there are no tolls of visas for the Ice Hockey championships in Belarus, the EU votes on eCall and new truck regs, Spain’s roads maintenance is ‘deficient’, and busy evening follows a quiet day at the Gibraltar frontier.
FRANCE: WIDESPREAD MAIN ROAD GO-SLOW PROTESTS
‘Ruban Blanc’ protest at plans to reduce the national speed limit
Motorists upset at plans to reduce the national speed limit to 80kmh will stage a go-slow protest on roads in France tomorrow, the first day of the Easter holidays.
Nearly 90 separate locations all around the country have organised meeting points though it is not clear at this stage how many drivers will take part.
Most will take place on Saturday 12 April with a small minority on Sunday. The times vary, from 09:00 but most commonly from 14:00.
The demonstration is expected to take the form of slow moving convoys along main and local roads, i.e. not the autoroute motorway network.
Paris police are warning of a demonstration between Place de la Republique and Place de la Nation along Boulevard Voltaire in the north west of the city centre, 11th Arrondisement, between 14:00-19:00, and that traffic disruption could spread to surrounding streets.
All drivers have been asked to tie a white ribbon – ‘ruban blanc’ – around their left (offside) wing mirror to show support.
The protest is being co-ordinated by the Union des Usagers de la Route with input from biker’s group Federation Francaise des Motards en Colere and driver’s group ’40 Million d’Automobilistes’. The event has its own website, www.ruban-blanc.com.
The government says the speed limit reduction is just a proposal at this stage though former Interior Minister Manuel Valls, now Prime Minister, signalled last month the idea should be adopted. According to The Connexion, 66% of road accidents happen on secondary roads.
roundup: SERBIA. Uproar after a mechanic wrote off the €1m, armoured, presidential Mercedes GL 500 during a test drive yesterday. The car was a gift from the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi last year. Meanwhile, the Corridor XI motorway between Belgrade and the Montenegrin border at Boljare will be finished by the end of 2017 it has been announced. Work is also due to start on the first part of the Montenegro section, eventually to the Adriatic at Bar. GERMANY. Read the complete ins and outs of the expanding truck and car road tolls system from @RoadPricing. EAST BALTIC. A new mobile app (and website) – Via Hanseatica – plots a 600km route through the historic highlights between St Petersburg and Riga, through Latvia, Estonia and Russia. BELARUS. Reminder: free road tolls and no visas needed for visitors to next month’s Ice Hockey Word Championships in Minsk. EU. The European Parliament votes Tuesday 15 April on standards for alternative fuels infrastructure; the emergency, automatic 112 eCall system for road accidents; and on ‘greener and safer’ weights and dimensions regs for trucks. SPAIN. 330,000 signs need replacing, 52,000km of markings need repainting and 82% of lights need reviewing on the national/local road network says the president of the Spanish Road Association (AEC) in a call for investment of €6.2bn. GIBRALTAR QUEUE WATCH: delays topped 2h30 during the evening rush after being – almost, unusually – free-flowing all day.