While We Are Away

Quiet literally exhausted after a long summer of strike and migrant action – and holiday traffic – @DriveEurope is taking a break, to drive in Europe. See more about the plan here (basically the French Alps and Pyrenees, with the dog). Regular service resumes on Monday 27 September. In the meantime, see Traffic/Travel/Weather for what’s happening on the ground – or here for a closer look at France – or read on for what’s happening while we are away:

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While we are away: Paris car-free day on Sunday 27 September. More later.

The third week of September is ‘European Mobility Week’ and many towns and cities mark the occasion with ‘Car-free Days’. Highest profile among them is Paris on 27 September though Brussels also holds its now-traditional event the Sunday beforehand. Otherwise Tuesday 22 September is the day when more than 1000 cities – in Austria, Hungary and Spain, particularly – rope off at least one street to cars, often considerably more. See more here, or the list of participants here. Photo @Paris

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Traffic: there are famously no traffic warnings anywhere in France for the whole of September. Germany has also settled down after the summer with only regular weekend warnings until the end of the month. The worst is behind Switzerland too, even at the Gotthard Tunnel (see below), while Saturday 12 September is the final day of summer traffic in Austria, as is Saturday 19 September in Italy.

However, the Gotthard Tunnel is closed for overnight maintenance 19:30-05:00 every Monday-Thursday this month, up until Tuesday 29 September (see Sanierung des Gotthardstrassentunnels pdf).

The Mont Blanc Tunnel closes in both directions overnight – 22:00-06:00 – on Monday 14 September for maintenance and Monday 21 September for a safety exercise. Also overnight alternating traffic – 22:30-06:00 – Tuesday to Thursday, 15-17 September for maintenance.

Wednesday 16 September: taxi drivers will hold another demonstration against Uber in Brussels. Protestors from France, Spain, Portugal and Germany are also expected to attend. Starts 10:30 at the North Station and makes its way to the European quarter in the east, the same route as the recent farmer protest.

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It’s easier to get to than the Schlumpf Collection in Mulhouse – and housed beside the spectacular Cinquantenaire arch in east Brussels - so, among British enthusiasts anyway, Autoworld is increasingly carving out a name for itself among the top rank European motoring museums. Following a successful Jaguar retrospective, next up is an exhibition of 50 Years of the Porsche Targa (until 1 November), a highpoint of which is the ‘Targa and Coffee’ event on Sunday 27 September with a photogenic display of owner’s cars.

It’s easier to get to than the Schlumpf Collection in Mulhouse – and housed beside the spectacular Cinquantenaire arch in east Brussels – so, among British enthusiasts anyway, Autoworld is increasingly carving out a name for itself among the top rank of European motoring museums. Following a successful Jaguar retrospective, next up is an exhibition of 50 Years of the Porsche Targa (until 1 November), a highpoint of which is the ‘Targa and Coffee’ event on Sunday 27 September with a doubtless hugely photogenic display of owner’s cars outside.

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Despite repeated requests, we failed to get an answer from the authorities on what was happening at the infamous frontier in Gibraltar since a new e-Border system was installed on the Spanish side recently. One haulier told us he’d been advised to use a local firm for the crossing since UK trucks were subject to particularly lengthy checks. For the record, our impression is that things have settled down again. However, from Friday 11 September there certainly will be disruption as the airport runway is resurfaced (for the first time in 23 years) says Gibraltar News. It is being replaced fifty meters at a time overnight for the following six weeks with a sweep scheduled for 08:30-10:00 in the morning before it reopens to planes during the day. Drivers are warned of lengthy delays.

Despite repeated requests, we failed to get an answer from the authorities on what was happening at the infamous frontier in Gibraltar since a new e-Border system was installed on the Spanish side recently. One haulier told us he’d been advised to use a local firm for the crossing since UK trucks were subject to particularly lengthy checks. For the record, our impression is that things have settled down again. However, from Friday 11 September there certainly will be disruption as the airport runway is resurfaced (for the first time in 23 years) says GBC News – vehicles cross the runway to get in and out of Gibraltar. It is being replaced fifty meters at a time overnight for the following six weeks with a sweep scheduled for 08:30-10:00 in the morning before it reopens to planes during the day. Drivers are warned of lengthy delays. Photo Gibrltar Government Flickr.

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Dieppe gives itself over for three days over this weekend to mark sixty years of making Alpine sports cars in the town (see more, French only). It’s not clear yet whether owner Renault will use the occasion, as originally expected, to show the latest version of the new A120, due to go on sale next year. Meanwhile, the surprisingly pretty port gained another new lease of life recently when it was confirmed its four-hour ferry link to Newhaven will continue next year. Photo @DriveEurope.

Dieppe gives itself over for three days over this weekend to mark sixty years of making Alpine sports cars in the town (see more, French only). It’s not clear yet whether owner Renault will use the occasion, as originally expected, to show the latest version of the new A120, due to go on sale next year. Meanwhile, the surprisingly pretty port gained another new lease of life recently when it was confirmed its four-hour ferry link to Newhaven will continue next year. Photo @DriveEurope.

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