By avoiding last weekend’s Black Saturday, drivers in France have landed themselves in even heavier traffic.
UNEXPECTEDLY JAMMED IN FRANCE
Last year’s all-time record traffic queues surprisingly rivalled on what was supposed to be a lull day, as A20 to Toulouse quiet again.
After last weekend’s ‘disappointing’ official Black Saturday, traffic today has far exceeded predictions, and come within a whisker of beating last year’s all-time record.
Today (Saturday 8 August) is now officially the second ever busiest Saturday in France.
Combined jams around the country totalled 972km at 13:00.
That is well ahead of last week’s 880km and within 25km of last year’s 994km record.
Peak delays also came uncharacteristically late, 90 minutes later than last Saturday.
According to national traffic centre Bison Fute, today was supposed to be merely ‘red’ (very busy) for departures around the country and merely busy for returns from the Mediterranean.
As well as sheer weight of traffic, queues have been exacerbated by heavy rain across the south and storms down the east of France.
Like last week, delays on the A7 southbound to Avignon and A10 to Bordeaux, while considerable, were much lower than in previous years.
Drivers definitely seem to be taking to the – mostly toll-free – A71/A75 via Clermont Ferrand to Beziers which again saw delays equal to the A7 and A10.
Meanwhile, apart from some congestion around Brive la Gaillarde, the A20 to Toulouse was almost free flowing again.
A particularly busy stretch has been the A9, in both directions around the Spanish border.
However, none of the delays on the major routes south were wildly inflated compared to other August Saturday getaways.
Queues on lesser roads in the northwest have probably accounted for the difference.
As well as habitual peage jams on the A29 into Amiens, the A29 Pont de Normandie bridge near Le Havre, and the A11 southbound to Angers, national roads in Brittany and the roads around Rennes, Nantes and St Malo have all seen considerable queues.
The accumulated evidence all points to drivers avoiding the well-publicised official Black Saturday on the first weekend of August by taking holidays earlier in July and later in August.
They may have also dodged the South of France in favour of the northwest though, clearly, they haven’t given up on their cars.