Ice Racing Kicks Off In The Alps

Last updated 18:30GMT, Sunday 7 December.

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TODAY: potential strike action in Calais tomorrow (Monday), 08:00-18:00. The port is intending to keep some ferry berths open but customers are advised to travel outside of strike hours. P&O says day trippers should postpone trips. See Port of Dover website for more. Also, another general strike in Belgium, particularly in and around Brussels, and probably even larger scale than previously. Police advising, ‘Don’t come to Brussels if you don’t have to’.

Also, driving conditions alerts for the Sauerland and Siegerland in central/west Germany (and A3 Oberhausen, see below), and west and north Sweden. A20 access road into Eurotunnel UK is closed; use M20 junction 11a instead. Heavy snow at altitude across Spain yesterday. Continuing poor driving conditions fog/snow central Massif Central, France affecting A75 south from around St Flour (see webcam here). ‘Hazardous’ driving in Finland this weekend. Still snow H2/H19 Gotthard south central Switzerland + H13 Locarno-Brissano still restricted by landslides at Lugano.

See below for Weekend Traffic and Weather forecasts, this week so far, and a look ahead.

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CHANNEL DELAYS: reduced service DFDS Dover-Calais until 4 January.

WEATHER ALERT: amber alert high winds, storm, heavy rain Italy, Sicily, west Estonia + storm Greece.

WEATHER: best Iberia. Snow Austria, East + parts Scandinavia. Wind, rain Mediterranean. See weekend outlook below.

GOTTHARD TUNNEL: now no queues.

MONT BLANC TUNNEL: ‘traffic is fluent’.

MAJOR TRAFFIC DELAYS: A1 southbound into Paris, earlier breakdown, accident, delay still 45mins.

A3 both ways Arnhem-Oberhausen, black ice warning.

EarlierA4 westbound into Paris, heavy traffic, delay down to 25mins. A58 westbound Breda, earlier accident, delay down to 5mins + southbound A27 delay down to 15mins.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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The Andros Ice Racing Trophy kicked off yesterday at Val Thorens in the French Alps. Guest star of the two day meet is nine time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, alongside series regular and former F1 driver Olivier Panis. Both struggle however against four time recent championship winner Jean-Philippe Dayraut who qualified on pole and won the opening race yesterday. Panis was third and Loeb seventh. Competing manufacturers include Mazda, Mini, Citroen DS, Renault, Toyota and Dacia. The seven date championship pretty much covers all the country’s mountainous regions. It calls next in Andorra then Alpe d’Huez, Isola 2000, Lans en Vercors and Clermont Ferrand before the finale at Saint Die des Vosges in eastern France on 7 February. See TropheeAndros.com for more.

The 2015 Andros Ice Racing Trophy kicked off yesterday at Val Thorens in the French Alps. Guest star of the two day meet is nine time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, alongside series regular and former F1 driver Olivier Panis. Both struggle however against four time recent championship winner Jean-Philippe Dayraut who qualified on pole and won the opening race. Panis was third and Loeb seventh. Competing manufacturers include Mazda, Mini, Citroen DS, Renault, Toyota and Dacia. The seven date championship pretty much covers France’s mountainous regions. It calls next in Andorra then Alpe d’Huez, Isola 2000, Lans en Vercors and Clermont Ferrand before the finale at Saint Die des Vosges on 7 February. For more, including live coverage, see TropheeAndros.com

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WEEKEND TRAFFIC: city centres will be busy with Christmas markets but in general there are no traffic warnings this weekend, except: six autobahn closures in Germany: Friday night-Sunday night, A5 at Heidelberg and A24 at Reinbeck (Hamburg); from early Saturday to early Monday, A8 at Mulhausen (direction Munich); Saturday night-Sunday night A40 at Venlo, and early Saturday to Monday afternoon A46 at Dusseldorf.

WEEKEND WEATHER: the outlook according to BBC Weather is mixed: continuing severe storms for the central Mediterranean/Italy/Adriatic, sub-zero East, sunny South West plus snow on high elevations UK and Scandinavia. Due to likely icy conditions, M+S marked winter tyres will be needed in Germany and Austria.

THIS WEEK: heavy overnight snow around Huesca, Pyrenees on Thursday (+ poor/great weekend weather Spain). Fatal floods south of Rome Thursday + floods Thessaloniki region Greece; Kapitan-Andreevo border crossing Bulgaria-Turkey closed (now re-opened but severe flooding nearby). Severe ice warnings Central>East Europe, especially arounSaarbrucken/Eifel Mountains and east Germany. Czech Republic badly affected by snow/ice this week, as was eastern Austria with evacuations and road closures in Hohe Wand, Lower Austria and Burgenland, due to ‘ice storm’.

LOOKING AHEAD: TISPOL pan-Europe anti-drink drive enforcement campaign next week; on Monday the Montenegro parliament votes on the Bar-Boljare motorway project – the country’s first – part of an eventual link between Belgrade and the Adriatic.

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