Last updated 18:00GMT, Monday 8 December.
TODAY: strike in Calais now finished. Services starting to get back to normal though inevitable backlog delays, Dover busy with freight traffic. Also, another general strike in Belgium, particularly in and around Brussels. Police were advising, ‘Don’t come to Brussels if you don’t have to’ but traffic was very light except for two blocked access roads into Brussels.
Difficult driving warnings – snow forecast overnight Luxembourg. Earlier snow/ice warnings for Sauerland and Siegerland in central/west Germany (and black ice A27 Bremen), and Sweden. Snow above 500m parts of French Alps. Still snow H2/H19 Gotthard south central Switzerland, H13 Locarno-Brissano still restricted by landslides at Lugano + ice A12 Vevey-Freiburg.
A20 access road into Eurotunnel UK is closed; use M20 junction 11a instead. This week is the TISPOL pan-Europe anti-drink drive enforcement campaign.
GOTTHARD TUNNEL: southbound queue increased to 6km, delay 60mins.
MONT BLANC TUNNEL: ‘traffic is fluent’.
MAJOR TRAFFIC DELAYS: A15 westbound from Paris, accident Pontoise, delay 50mins.
A50 northbound Nijmegen, accident, delay 1h10.
A5 both ways Freiburg, accident, delay northbound 2h10; southbound 25mins.
A22 southbound Bolzano-Verona, heavy traffic, total delay still around 3h00.
Earlier: now no delay A1 southbound from Cologne, A3 eastbound Frankfurt. A5 southbound to Turin, heavy traffic, total delay down to 25mins.
See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.
DIESEL BANNED FROM PARIS
Oil burning cars get most the blame – but not all – for Paris pollution.
PARIS: the most polluting vehicles will be banned by the end of the decade in a bid to improve air quality.
In a widely reported interview with Journal du Dimanche yesterday, new mayor Anne Hidalgo fleshed out commitments made during this years’ election campaign and ‘pollution crises’.
‘I want to be effective, fast and hard,’ she said. ‘Pollution is a major issue, a major public health problem, particularly for the most vulnerable… the message is clear: I want the end of the diesel engine in Paris.’
As well as banning diesel cars, at least within the peripherique ring road, only ULEV ‘ultra-low emission vehicles’ will be allowed on major thoroughfares such as the Champs Elysee; the 30% of trucks which cross the Paris region without stopping will be barred; only residents’ cars will be allowed inside the first to the fourth Arrondissement neighbourhoods while the general speed limit will be lowered to 30kmh (and to 50kmh on main roads).
The plans will be presented formally to the Council of Paris (Conseil de Paris) on 9 February.
This is in addition to plans announced last weekend by Prime Minister Manuel Valls. He wants to rebalance the split between diesel and petrol powered vehicles nationwide through narrowing the tax differential between the two, which currently favours diesel, and introduce new emissions classes ‘the grey card’ (La Carte Grise) as the basis on which to restrict vehicle movements in towns and cities across France.
In less widely reported news, last week Paris also announced plans to ban open fires from 1 January. Official figures say wood-burning makes up just under a quarter of the damaging fine particle emissions (the same as cars) with open fires responsible for half of that.
Clean air campaigners however say just four percent of such emissions come from wood burning.
Update 9 December: environment minister Segolene Royal said today the plan to ban open fires is ‘absurd, albeit well-intentioned’ and that she will overturn it according to The Connexion. Mayor Hidalgo is yet to respond though thelocal.fr says she is unlikely to take kindly to Royal meddling in her city’s business.