NEWS: Black traffic days in Germany, Switzerland and Austria for this weekend’s Pentecost holiday, but not too bad in France. Meanwhile the vast majority of mountain passes are now open but overnight closures at the Gotthard Tunnel will last all week.
Also, temporary border checks may be reinstated this week in Belgium.
GIBRALTAR QUEUE WATCH: delays built very quickly to 1h55 at lunchtime then fluctuated at a lower level for the rest of the day.
D-DAY ANNIVERSARY 6 JUNE: north west France. A regulated traffic zone (Zone de circulation régulé, ZCR) will be in place on 6th June from 6AM to 6PM. Vehicles without a sticker cannot enter the ZCR, which stretches approximately from Ouistreham to Isigny sur Mer, and from the Channel to the south Bayeux ring-road and to the northern edge of Caen. See more from Brittany Ferries.
BLACK DAYS AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND + GERMANY
Heavy traffic expected for Pentecost
Far fewer drivers are expected to get away for the upcoming Pentecost holiday than did for just-gone Ascension. But with another long weekend in store due to the Whitsun national holiday on Monday 9 June traffic will be heavier than usual in France.
Bison Fute forecasts busy roads generally on Friday for the Grand Depart, particularly in the Paris region, and again on Saturday around Paris and the Alps. Sunday should return to normal before stepping up again as drivers return home on Monday. Overall however, major jams are not predicted unless the weather is particularly good.
Warnings have already been issued about increased traffic police presence. The good news is that the rest of the month remains quiet until Wednesday and Thursday 28-29 June.
News that Friday will be as busy as it gets on German roads should prompt a collective groan. ADAC says drivers will head off in all directions for the long weekend but that traffic will be concentrated in the south which starts a fortnight’s holiday.
It will be almost as bad on Saturday and Monday (but quiet on Sunday). Things won’t return to normal until Wednesday 11 June because for many schools in the North and West, Tuesday is still a holiday.
The only major road closure we are aware of is the A7 Hanover-Hamburg between Bad Fallingbostel and Soltau for bridgeworks. It closes overnight Saturday 20:00-10:00 northbound and then southbound on Sunday night.
Again, traffic in Switzerland should not be as bad as it was at times during Ascension but Saturday is still a ‘black’ day (and red on Friday and Monday, orange Sunday and Tuesday).
As ever the major focus will be the A2 Gotthard Tunnel. Queues will build at the north entrance from 16:00 Friday until 21:00 says TCS, and again between 08:00-16:00 on Saturday. The southern entrance will be busy Saturday 11:00-18:00, Sunday 16:00-21:00 and Monday 12:00-21:00. A two hour delay at peak times is possible.
The Austrians are expecting a heavy weekend too, a very heavy one according to OAMTC. Traffic from around Germany will start flowing south across the border from Friday afternoon with another wave on Saturday morning just from Bavaria.
While all cross border routes will be busy, the big question is how the Fussen-Reutte border crossing will cope now the B179 Fernpass has been resurfaced. Meanwhile, queues are almost inevitable on the A9 Phyrn motorway in central Austria between Rottenmann and Treglwang due to single lane road works. Also, there is alternate running on the A2 at Klagenfurt with regular large, but temporary, tailbacks.
PASSES AND TUNNELS
On a brighter note, Thursday should see Forcola di Livigno (little Bernina) re-open after the winter. This means Nufenen will be the only Swiss mountain pass still closed. In France, Agnel in the Alps reopens on Friday according to the latest info meaning just Galibier, Iseran (partly open) and Lombard remain closed (all three likely to open by mid-June). In Italy only Passo Gardena is still shut, for road works, while Austrian and German mountain roads are now all open.
Traffic through Switzerland will be complicated this week by overnight maintenance closures of the Gotthard Tunnel, Monday to Friday from 19:30-05:00. Cars will be diverted via the Gotthard Pass but heavy vehicles will be held at each end.
Meanwhile, waiting times of up to 30mins should be expected at the Mont Blanc tunnel 09:00-14:00 Friday and Saturday, from France to Italy, and 17:00-20:00 heading the other way on Monday.