The May Day holiday weekend will see* busy roads but not major jams across the Continent. Meanwhile, long delays (have been) already forming on Day One of major road works on the E40/A10 at Gent, Belgium (and at the Turkey-Bulgaria border). Studded tyres are outlawed in Finland from tomorrow. Gibraltar queue watch: a normal day.
MAY DAY HOLIDAY TRAFFIC
Busy Wednesday afternoon and Sunday else not too bad
With May Day (Thursday, 1 May) being a public holiday in many European countries, especially in northern Europe, increased traffic is to be expected over what will be, for many, a long weekend.
In France – which has three public holidays this month, all on Thursdays – while traffic is expected to be busy generally on Wednesday, it isn’t expected to be heavy again until Sunday (4 May) as drivers return home, particularly to Paris, from the north west coasts says Bison Fute.
However, traffic forecasts in France have been rather over-estimated recently*. Not so in Germany however where the ADAC has been spookily accurate.
It says traffic will busy from Wednesday afternoon, dipping slightly Thursday-Saturday before peaking again on Sunday. Major jams are not expected though this might change depending on the weather. The north is likely to be busier than the south, particularly on Saturday, the focus generally being all the usual suspects – north-south A1, A5, A7, A9 and east west A3, A6, A8 – plus, no doubt, the A31 at Leer in the north west and A93 and A96 from the Austrian border.
Meanwhile, there will be some major road closures in Germany over the weekend: A9 Leipzig to Berlin, closed at Dessau 2-4 May; A59 Dinslaken to Duisburg closed at North Duisburg from 1 May until 13 July; and contraflow for 17km of A9 Munich-Nuremberg (Ingolstadt) at Holledau/Allershausen. Previous work on this stretch caused repeated accidents.
Carnage is not expected in Austria, certainly not on the scale of mid-winter or summer, though OAMTC warns it will be busy around Vienna, Graz and Linz – and the A1, A9 and A2/S6 which connect them – from Wednesday afternoon, and again on Sunday when the A4 to Vienna-Gyor-Budapest will also see heavier traffic than usual.
The Salzburg marathon on Sunday will see traffic restricted until 15:00. Also complicating matters is the closure of A2 into Vienna at Wiener Neudorf all weekend.
After the several ‘black’ days over the Easter holidays – with 12km+ queues on the A2 Gotthard Tunnel – traffic in Switzerland on May Day weekend will not be as bad.
Wednesday/Thursday and Saturday/Sunday will be busiest, especially the latter. With the exception of Thursday when traffic heads in both directions according to TCS, drivers will be predominantly heading south.
While there’s no central traffic prediction for Italy, the A22 Brenner motorway, Innsbruck-Bolzano-Verona is likely to be busy all weekend while the major motorways back from the coast, the A10 and A12 towards Genoa in the north west and, particularly, the A14 Rimini to Bologna in the east will doubtless be murderous on Sunday evening.
roundup: BELGIUM. Road works starting today on the E40/A10 near Gent will hamper drivers until the end of May. Until 9 May one lane is closed in each direction J11-13 Aalter-Drongen. Already causing long delays today, and apparently also on the A14/A22 at the French border towards Lille as traffic diverts. FINLAND. Studded tyres are not allowed from tomorrow, even as fresh snow falls are seen in the north of the country. Non-studded winter tyres are okay. GIBRALTAR QUEUE WATCH. Delays to the Spanish frontier reached 2h00 this morning. BULGARIA-TURKEY. Truck queues reached up to 6km each side of the Kapitan Andreevo-Kapikule border crossing on the first day of reconstruction. Delays will last for the next ‘few months’.