TODAY: A new Autostrada opens between Milan and Brescia next month as the fate of another major motorway project in the area hangs in the balance. A fuel strike in Italy lasts from Saturday to Wednesday. Martha Stewart demonstrates her excellent taste in Monaco. A German driver has his car stolen on the A2 + a reminder of a new rule in Germany from 1 July.
GIBRALTAR FRONTIER WATCH: a good day – delays at a maximum 45mins in the evening.
NEW MOTORWAY MILAN-BRESCIA
Cuts journey times Turin-Venice/Trieste too.
A new motorway across northern Italy opens next month.
The A35 will run direct between Milan and Brescia, bypassing the A4 which also runs between Milan and Brescia but via Bergamo. The 62.1km autostrada saves a third of the existing motorway distance between the two cities.
Despite the route the new road is dubbed BreBeMi after the building consortium. It will see its first vehicles on Tuesday 22 July, five years to the day since construction started.
There is no word yet on toll costs. Reports in the Italian press say rates are expected to be higher than average.
At its western end, A35 connects to the under-construction Milan TEEM, the Tangentiale Est Esterna di Milano or East Outer Ring Road. TEEM is due to open next summer though the two TEEM/A35 junctions will also open on 22 July for access to central Milan.
By cutting congestion on the notoriously busy A4 – which carries up to 140,000 vehicles per day, 40,000 of them HGVs – A35 will speed up journeys right across northern Italy, from Turin in the west to Venice and Trieste in the east.
Meanwhile the fate of another major motorway project in the region is still uncertain. Newly elected Prime Minister Matteo Renzi recently called for ‘Sblocca Italia’ – unlock Italy – removing bureaucratic hurdles from large infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy. This would include the A36 Autostrada Pedemontana Lombarda. It has been under construction since 2010 but work stopped earlier this year due to financing problems.
APL – or the North Milan Bypass – will stretch from the A8 in the north west of Milan, near Malpensa airport, to hit the A4 in the north east. It will also connect to the A51 inner east ring road, with a spur down to BrebeMi. It was expected to open in 2020.
ITALY FUEL STRIKE: one tends not to get too excited by fuel strikes in Italy – this is the third so far this year – but this one sounds more serious. From first thing Saturday (14 June), all self-service pre-pay pumps will be out of action ahead of a general fuel strike next Wednesday (18 June). The government is due to hold talks with the petrol station owners association early next week.
GERMANY. A driver on the A2 near Magdeburg yesterday had his car stolen by fake police. The man, driving a black customised Audi S3, was blue-lighted for apparently speeding at the Lostau exit. The police – dressed in civilian clothing, aged 35-40, both with stubble beards – then stole his car. Reminder: from 1 July all drivers in Germany, except motorhomers and bikers, need to carry a hi-viz vest in the car to wear during breakdowns/emergencies. Potential fine of €15.