Eastern France is where it is at. A keen driver enjoys the Road of the Ridges ahead of the Rallye de France.
Also, Lithuania asks Brussels to intervene on French weekly rest rules. Ukraine cancels the Kerch Bridge contract. Momentum builds for Adriatic-Ionian motorway. Benelux domestic hauliers allowed to carry shipping containers. Slovak radar guns cost £25k each.
A keen Continental driver gives the D431 into Mulhouse his seal of approval.
Porsche-911 driving Chris Pointon came across this very interesting road while out and about in eastern France.
D431 is actually the southern part of Route of the Ridges (Routes des Cretes), fifty five miles through the Vosges Mountains between Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines and Cernay.
It tops out at the 4,406ft Col du Grand Ballon, not massively high in the scheme of things but high enough to close in winter.
Built as a military road during WW1, just below the ridge on the French side to protect it from gunfire – on what was then the border between France and Germany – it lost its strategic significance when Alsace was ceded back to the French in 1919.
Route of the Ridges is actually a succession of roads – D48, D148, D61, D430 and D431 – with panoramic views across the Rhine, in places, as far as the Black Forest.
During the summer it is notoriously crowded with walkers, cyclists and cars hence a 70kmh speed limit in parts. So far the authorities have managed to resist a blanket limit along the full length.
Eastern France might not be top of every Petrolhead’s bucket list, yet, but it should be. The roads around Mulhouse, Colmar and Strasbourg are sufficiently good to hold the WRC Rallye de France, see a stage map here. We made an enjoyable first foray into the region earlier this year on Route Nationale 5 from Geneva to Dijon.
roundup: FRANCE. Lithuania says the new French drivers’ hours rules break EU rules. It has asked the Commission to setup a working group to address the issue says Freight Business Journal. Hauliers face fines of €30,000 if drivers spend 45 hour weekly rest periods inside vehicles. SLOVAKIA. The €620,000 spent on fifteen radars and ten video-radars for traffic police was four times over the odds, for some reason, says TheDaily.SK. BENELUX. Hauliers based in Luxembourg, Belgium or the Netherlands are now able to carry shipping containers up to 13.72m cross-border following a deal signed by foreign affairs ministers in Rotterdam yesterday says wort.lu. Such loads were previously subject to special permissions. The UKRAINE government has formally cancelled the contract to build the Kerch Bridge between Crimea and Russia. The agreement was signed – seemingly out of the blue – by deposed former President Yanukovych last December. The cancellation is a technicality since Russia will press on with the project anyway. A single contractor for the twelve mile fixed link is expected to be appointed next month says RIA Novosti. BOSNIA. ‘The Adriatic-Ionian motorway is the most important infrastructural project in BIH and the region,’ transport minister Damir Hadzic told an intergovernmental meeting in Montenegro yesterday. Work starts soon on Corridor 5C from Medjugorje to the AIM junction at Capljina he says as reported by Sarajevo Times. Over 100km of AIM will pass through Bosnia.