Road deaths were finally significantly down in France last month but drivers can still expect a heavy police presence on the roads over the rest of the summer.
Also, Tesla’s free supercharger network is really starting to take off. Travel Trade Crusade’s feature film debuts. The RHA and Home Office meet about the migrant situation in Calais. The new UK HGV Levy really rakes in the cash. Two major stretches of Serbian motorway are on course to open in 2017 while two stretches of Bulgarian motorway will not open this year as planned. Hire a 2CV to bounce around the vineyards of south west France.
FRANCE FINALLY GETS ROAD SAFETY CRISIS UNDER CONTROL
But no let up in heavy police presence. 60,000 Belgian drivers flashed in France last month.
As predicted, France finally seems to be getting a grip on its road safety crisis.
After four consecutive months of increases – including a whopping 28% in March – road deaths fell by 11.6% in July. It was the fewest number of fatalities in sixty years during one of the busiest months on French roads.
Injuries were also down, by 15.6%. Those hospitalised for more than 24 hours fell by 18.6%.
The encouraging gains are undoubtedly due to increased traffic police presence. As well as anecdotal evidence seen by @DriveEurope, the new figures come a day after it was reported in Belgium that 60,648 Belgian motorists had been flashed by speed cameras in July. Those numbers were up 13.6% over the same month last year and were ascribed to ‘flash zeal’ by French police.
Police in Sarthe, north west France, home of the Le Mans racing circuit, have also warned about increased police presence this weekend.
Speeding drivers caught at less than 40kmh over the (motorway) limit face an on-the-spot fine of up to €1500. Those caught at more than 40kmh above the limit can have their licences confiscated.
roundup: CALAIS MIGRANTS. Drivers should be given better information and more meetings should be held with the French authorities it was agreed between the Road Haulage Association and the UK Home Office today, both hoping the situation will have improved before the next scheduled meeting in October due to the ‘expected bad weather’. Meanwhile, the HGV Road User Levy has raised £17m so far: 112,000 trucks from 76 countries have bought 618,000 levies since it was introduced in April. It was expected to raise £20m in the whole of the first year. Compliance is said to be more than 95%; 850 fines have been issued so far totalling £250,000. SERBIA. Two major stretches of Corridor 11 – Obrenovac-Ub and Lajkovac-Ljig – will open on 30 April 2017 said Prime Minister Vucic today, cutting the journey time from Belgrade to Zlatibor in the south west to 90 minutes. He travels to Beijing on 10 September to sign several more infrastructure contracts with Chinese firms. FRANCE. Drive a vintage 2CV around the vineyards of Languedoc-Rousillon in south west France with Vin4 Heures Wine Tours. Six hours, from €60 per person for three people. BULGARIA. No new motorway stretches will open this year says the caretaker transport minister. The Maritza highway, between the A1 Sofia-Black Sea motorway and the Turkish border, and the southernmost stretch of the Struma Highway to the Greek border, were to have seen their first vehicles in 2014.
Entrants on this year’s Travel Trade Crusade battled heavy rain, traffic, their costumes and cars over a 1600km drive from Lille to Paris via Strasbourg and Bern. More than £70,000 has been raised for charity in the past two years. Corporate sponsor Allianz helped put together this actual feature film:
GIBRALTAR FRONTIER WATCH: quiet overnight. Max 15mins delay so far today.
CONDOR FERRIES rescheduled services, Commodore Clipper on course to return 26 August.