The first of many reserved bus and taxi lanes on motorways into Paris starts tomorrow, a few days ahead of a tripling of parking charges for coaches.
Also, Mercedes looks ahead to next month’s Mille Miglia. MEPs finally make auto emergency alert in-car eCall devices mandatory. Night Wolves to re-attempt Polish border crossing. Passengers safe after Mediterranean ferry fire.
AUTOROUTE BUS LANES BEGIN IN PARIS
Southbound A1 first of many reserved lanes around the French capital.
As of tomorrow (Wednesday 29 April), the left most lane of the A1 autoroute southbound into Paris will be for buses and taxis only.
The new lane stretches for 5km from the A1-A86 interchange at La Courneuve to the four-lane Landy Tunnel, just after the Stade de France.
The aim is to speed up journeys for ‘HOV high occupancy vehicles’ from Charles de Gaulle airport. Initially at least, the lane is not open to car poolers and tourist coaches.
Restrictions apply from 06:30-10:00 working weekdays. The closed lane is marked with a red X on the overhead gantry.
Eventually there will be a €135 fine for using the lane illegally, but Paris authorities are allowing for a ‘long education period’ before penalties apply.
The new bus lane is the first of many due around the capital. From the end of the month a similar lane will be introduced northbound on the A6 from Orly airport in the south of the city. Over the next five years another twelve will appear around the capital.
As pointed out by campaign group ’40 Million Automobilistes’, this is the third attempt at a reserved lane on the Paris A1. Previous efforts in 1974 and 2009, both on the right hand lane, were withdrawn after a few months.
Paris Coach Parking: as of Friday 1 May, parking charges for coaches in the capital will triple. Recent protests by local operators have so far come to nothing. A morning pass previously costing €37.60 is now €107.30. Significant savings can be made by booking in advance on the internet – advance morning passes are €64.50. See the Pass Autocar Paris website for more details.
roundup: EU. After a very long gestation, MEPs decided today that from 31 March 2018 all passenger cars and light commercial vehicles must be fitted with an eCall device, used to summon emergency services automatically in the event of an accident. The system was first proposed in 1999. The rules were amended today to prevent vehicle tracking via the device. It will transmit the type of vehicle, the fuel used, time of the accident, exact location and number of passengers; the system also reportedly includes a microphone link. The rules will be reviewed in 2021 with a view to including buses, coaches and heavy trucks. Member states must have the IT infrastructure in place to process eCalls by 1 October 2017. NIGHT WOLVES. After a long wait at the Terespol border crossing from Belarus yesterday morning, ten Night Wolves bikers were refused entry into Poland. The Czech Republic and Germany have also both reportedly refused to allow the group on their territory. A large posse of Polish bikers had gathered to escort the Russian bikers on the next leg of the tour, a retracing of the bloody WW2 march from Moscow, ending in Berlin on Victory Day, 9 May. Night Wolves leader Alexander Zaldostanov vowed this morning that the group would try to cross again today reports TheNews.pl. Update: eight Russian bikers have been prevented form entering Lithuania according to Delphi Lithuania Tribune. SPAIN. All 160 passengers and crew were safely evacuated after the Acciona-Trasmediterranea MV Sorrento caught fire off the coast of Palma de Mallorca this afternoon according to El Pais English. One person is reportedly seriously injured due to smoke inhalation. A further three crew members suffered minor affects. The ship was on its way to Valencia. The captain gave the order to abandon ship an hour after the blaze was first spotted on the port side. No cause has been given.