Migrants Delays Hungary-Austria – Colle del Nivolet

Austria’s gruelling migrant operation could last ‘indefinitely’, and target any road.

Also, a quick look at Italy’s isolated Colle del Nivolet. And, MyFerryLink workers strike again ahead of French PM visit.

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MIGRANT DELAYS HUNGARY-AUSTRIA

Large scale police searches trigger massive tailbacks on Budapest-Vienna motorway.

The Austrian border on the M1-A4 motorway from Budapest. Photo @DriveEurope

The Austrian border on the M1-A4 motorway from Budapest. Photo @DriveEurope

Queues topped thirty miles this morning, and delays more than three hours, as Austria introduced security checks on vehicles entering the country on the M1-A4 motorway from Hungary.

The moves comes after 71 migrants were found dead in the back of a truck on the A4 last week.

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said, ‘It involves no border controls but targeted police controls and investigation measures to be carried out indefinitely.’

Not just trucks but any vehicles capable of hiding stowaways are being pulled over for searches.

Within the first few hours, police say they apprehended five traffickers and discovered two hundred migrants.

Today’s operation targets the M1-A4 but similar controls could be carried out on other cross-border routes, and other transit roads towards Germany, in the coming days.

Mikl-Leitner said the operation was being carried out with the co-operation of Hungary and neighbouring Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, national network manager ASFINAG is setting up new LED information boards mounted on trailers to warn drivers about migrants on the roads.

Traffickers are known to dump migrants soon after crossing the border, even on motorways in the middle of the night.

The boards will appear alongside the northbound A4 to Vienna, and A6 to the capital from Slovakia, activated by 24 hour patrols by road staff.

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Colle del Nivolet this morning. More later.

It didn’t do the car much good but, ever since the launch of the ‘disappointing’ Alfa Romeo 4C in October 2013, Colle del Nivolet has been near the top of our mountain road bucket list. It is however quite difficult to get to. The dead-end pass, which tops out at 2641m, and weaves its way between several storage lakes, right on the border of Aosta and Piedmont in north east Italy, is only accessible from the Turin side, just over 80km from the Mont Blanc A5 autostrada at Ivrea, via SP222, SP460 and the pass road itself SP50. In the meantime we content ourselves with this webcam view from the Rifugio Savoia hostel beside Lago Nivolet, right at the very, very top.

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roundup: CROSSING THE CHANNEL. Ahead of a visit to Calais and Eurotunnel today by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls – and another meeting between DFDS, Eurotunnel and the MyFerryLink union in Paris this afternoon – strikers blockaded Calais port for six hours overnight, stranding passengers on one of the biggest return days of the year. During his visit, Valls announced a new migrant centre with 1500 beds – three times the size of the notorious Sangatte camp closed in 2002 – using €5m from the EU. Eurotunnel welcomed the visit saying, ‘The French and British governments have provided a practical and immediately effective response to the security needs of the terminal at Coquelles.’ It added that a ‘long term solution’ is now in place to secure the SNCF-Reseau freight yard at Calais-Frethun, the source of last week’s renewed attempts by migrants to access the Channel Tunnel.

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