Comprehensive upgrade for the historic back road between Paris and Brussels – including new truck park, bypasses and widening works – plus news on the Ecotaxe truck toll replacement.
Also, stunning poppy livery for this weekend’s Race of Remembrance. Greece spreads the road tax burden as petrol remains stubbornly expensive. Speed limits and lights for the A16 Calais. Sicily fixed link still on the cards.
€100m REHAB FOR INTERESTING PARIS-BRUSSELS N2
Uprated road through medieval Laon and Little Switzerland.
The French government has announced a €100m renovation and upgrade for the Paris-Brussels Route Nationale 2.
Formerly the ‘Route des Flandres’, N2 heads north east from Paris via Soissons and the mediaeval walled town of Laons, beside the A26 Calais autoroute, before heading up to the Belgian border near Mons through the Avesnois Regional Park, called ‘Little Switzerland of the North’ (see map for details).
In Napoleon’s time, and known then as Route Imperiale 2, it ran all the way to Amsterdam via Brussels.
Transport minister Alain Vidalies visited the northern stretch of RN2 today, in the Thierache region up around the border, to announce the new money.
However, apart from completing the bypasses around border towns Maubeuge and Avesnes-sur-Helpe, and a new truck park at La Capelle, the bulk of works – aside from resurfacing – is focused on the busiest stretch, south of Laons.
The remaining single lane sections between Laon and Paris will be widened to two lanes with new bypasses at Gondreville, Vaumoise and Péroy-les-Gombries.
The entire project is scheduled for completion by 2020.
Vidalies also announced a further €100m for rehabilitation of 150 national roads and waterways around the country, all to be completed this year.
This is in addition to the €3.3bn ‘Highway Stimulus Plan’ finalised last month in which the autoroute operators finance expansion of the motorway network at twenty sites in exchange for an average 2.5 year extension to their concession contracts. This new work is expected to create 10,000 new jobs.
Vidalies also said the replacement for the failed Ecotaxe truck road toll will be announced in June 2016 after consultation with the road transport industry reports RTL France.
roundup: GREECE. Interesting insight into how PM Alexis Tsipras’ burden-sharing policies work on the ground: 100,000 previously-exempt drivers of 1.4-1.6 litre cars will now be subject to road tax as it is cut for medium-sized and older vehicles reports Ekathimerini. Meanwhile, petrol continues to be expensive compared to the rest of Europe: €1.398/l for unleaded95 puts it in tenth place according to Fuel Prices Europe though diesel at €1.098 is 25th. FRANCE. The stretch of A16 between Calais and Eurotunnel will be limited to 90kmh permanently following the deaths of four migrants in recent months reports La Voix du Nord. There are also plans to switch the lampposts back on at a cost of €2m, to be met by central government. The lights were turned off several years ago during cutbacks and will require an overhaul before being put back into service. ITALY. The long-proposed Messina Bridge, from the mainland to Sicily, will be built insists PM Matteo Renzi today adding, however, ‘The problem is when’. The other issue is whether it will be for vehicles says ANSA.it after a junior coalition partner got a parliamentary motion in October on a study for a rail-only crossing. Renzi says the government is investing €2bn in Sicilian roads and rail in the next five years only after which it will address the bridge question.