Traffic will be heavy at the weekend as the skiing holiday season begins in earnest. The really big queues however will be next weekend.
Also, bravehearts embark on an arctic journey, with a caravan. Romania drastically increases traffic fines. Against the odds MyFerryLink lives to fight another day, and the German ‘foreigner toll’ gets a thorough kicking in parliament.
WEEKEND TRAFFIC: SKI SEASON GETS INTO STRIDE
Will be busy around ski resorts but better than next weekend.
After a trial run last weekend, the skiing season really gets into its stride tomorrow (Saturday).
The Rhones-Alpes region in south east France is on red alert – very busy – for arrivals.
At least the roads will be better than the following two Saturdays which are both black days, i.e. as bad as it gets.
The German ‘winter sports routes’ – those to the border with Austria from the A8 Stuttgart-Munich south – will clog with weekenders and tourists from east Germany, who start winter holidays, and even from Scandinavia says ADAC.
Roads north will be busy too, though likely less so, with those heading eastwards.
Meanwhile, last Saturday was very crowded in west Austria and is set to be worse this weekend says OAMTC.
Switzerland fared relatively well last week. TCS warns of congestion around ski resorts but doesn’t spell out an apocalyptic scenario though the border crossing at Basel will be probably best avoided.
Presuming people in northern Italy are able or willing to drive after the wintry chaos of the last few days, the hot spot will be the A22 Brennero motorway up to the resorts in the High Dolomites.
Sunday will be much quieter all round.
As ever, much depends on the weather. The heavy snow affecting northern Italy recently should turn to rain and head east says the BBC.
Snow will move across Scandinavia towards Russia and possibly the Czech Republic.
Spain is also set for a measure of relief though temperatures will be very low in the centre of the country and heavy snow has not been ruled out in the north.
roundup: ROMANIA. Fines for traffic offences have been dramatically increased after Romania was found to have the EU’s least safe roads in 2013 with 92 deaths per million inhabitants. The penalty for driving while talking on a mobile phone, or for not wearing a seatbelt, is now €360 – ten times greater than previously – reports Romania-Insider.com. The maximum fine is €2160 for causing an accident while speeding or intoxicated. CROSSING THE CHANNEL. MyFerryLink has unexpectedly won leave to appeal the latest Competition ruling barring it from the Dover-Calais route. With owner Eurotunnel recently deciding to sell the operator it had appeared the long running saga was nearing the end. The hearing is likely to take place at the Court of Appeal in London before 13 March said the firm in a statement. GERMANY. The ‘foreigner toll’ came in for heavy criticism during a meeting of the Bundesrat Federal Council this morning. Technically the toll does not need the agreement of the states – only Bundestag MPs – since it will be administered centrally but the ‘fundamental doubts’ widely aired on whether it contravenes European discrimination laws, and about the amount of revenue it will raise, put extra pressure on transport minister Alexander Dobrindt. Observers speculate the toll plan may have to be delayed or postponed.