The last remaining stretch of original autobahn in Germany will survive for a while longer. The world’s biggest single collection of Teslas is in Norway. The road safety rankings for Europe have now been published in full – did the Netherlands pip the UK? Not everybody is happy about Bulgaria building Europe’s longest road tunnel. Appeals after a bizarre road accident in Germany, and new benefits for EVs, plus an ongoing mobile phone operation in Ireland.
THE LAST HITLERBAHN GETS A STAY OF EXECUTION
History to be covered over eventually but not removed
Plans to renovate the last original autobahn in Germany have been postponed until 2017/18.
The stretch of the Berlin-Szczecin (Stettin) A11 between junctions five and four, Uckermark-Schmolln, is still the original concrete strip surface laid in 1936.
It was announced last year that this section would be renovated next year ‘if funds could be found’. The surface is now so rough speed is limited to 80kmh and, characteristically, there is no hard shoulder. There are also five original bridges in need of repair.
However, Helmut Schneider from the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Autobahngeschichte (Autobahn History Association) told @DriveEurope this week the work on the northbound lanes has been postponed until 2017 and on the opposite carriageway until the year after.
The surface will not be broken up and taken away. Like the rest of the A11 – and many other autobahns – the original road will be buried under a new layer of asphalt.
Opened in 1936, known as Berlinka, A11 was to connect Berlin and Konigsberg (now Russian Kaliningrad) though the Polish government objected to the road across its territory and it was never completed. Apart from some single lane sections in east Poland, the only four lane stretch is between Berlin and Stettin.
Outside of Germany, the A18 – between the Polish A4 (Wroclaw) and the German A15 at Cottbus – still has the original surface of the former Reichsautobahn 9 Berlin-Breslau (Wroclaw), but only the southbound carriageway.
Inside the German border the only other stretch of original autobahn is the A6 near Kaiserslautern though this section is now behind the perimeter of the US Ramstein Airforce base perimeter and off limits to the general public.
roundup: NETHERLANDS. Long awaited road safety stats put the Netherlands in third place in Europe, on 33 fatalities per million inhabitants, behind Sweden on 28 and the UK on 29. All other stats were published last month. BULGARIA. As expected, environmental groups are angry about plans to build one of Europe’s longest road tunnels through the Kresna Gorge on E79 between Sofia and the Greek border. GERMANY. An appeal for information after a man lying on a pedestrian crossing was run over and killed by a truck near Bad Oeynhausen in north central Germany. Meanwhile, electric cars will be able to use bus lanes it has been announced, possibly plug-in hybrids too. IRELAND. Police have already nabbed over 300 drivers on day one of a countrywide mobile phone operation. Continues tomorrow.