Dubious Claims on Paris ‘Terror Traffic’

Parisians allegedly avoid public transport in favour of record breaking traffic jams this morning – but if so, why were the Netherlands and Belgium busy too?

Also, an award-winning film of winter driving from Norway as first snow set to hit the Continent later this week. And, winter tyre or snow chain obligation applies to roads in Slovenia, and more roads in Italy. Luxembourg burglars reveal Britishness at every turn. Extra heavyweight Ecocombi trucks to be allowed cross-border between Belgium and the Netherlands.



Record breaking jams in Paris but also in the Netherlands too.

paris traffic

Photo @DriveEurope

The record breaking jams in Paris this morning were caused by locals avoiding public transport due to the weekend’s terrorist attack says @Autoroutes.

Congestion peaked at 529km at 08:54 in the French capital – more than twice as much as usual – smashing the previous record of 499km.

However, it wasn’t just the French capital experiencing exceptional jams today.

At 527km the Netherlands saw its busiest rush hour of the year, easily beating the previous high of 472km set in February during a snow storm according to @VID.

Meanwhile, at 393km, Belgium saw its fourth busiest morning on the roads of 2015 reports national traffic co-ordinator Hajo Beeckman.

While it would be a perfectly understandable for Parisians to avoid large crowds at the moment, even on buses and trains, there are other factors which may explain today’s congestion.

A combination of bad weather, the first full working day of the week – ‘terrible Tuesday’ – the thick of the autumn/winter work season and recovering economies has seen record jams set in similar circumstances already this year.

Meanwhile, the previous record for Paris rush hour was set just two weeks ago, on 6 November, during a Friday getaway.

Also: yesterday’s relatively short delays during the first working day of enhanced border controls in France came as a relief to hauliers but today’s were considerably worse, see more in the daily blog.

Update Friday 20 November: after an apparent 50% drop in ridership at the weekend, public transport volumes have reportedly been down 10% overall this week. This is not an insignificant fall but it doesn’t imply Parisians have deserted buses and trains en masse. Traffic has certainly been busier in the French capital this week albeit at the top end of the normal range with the exception of today. Meanwhile Thursday evening saw the Netherlands’ busiest rush hour of the year at 581km and the second busiest in Belgium.


Great film from Medier24 about driving in snow storms in Norway.

Still from an award winning film short by Medier24 on winter driving in northern Norway, including the infamous ‘columns’ through snow storms. Coincidentally, Oslo finally saw its first snow yesterday, albeit briefly. Winter is late everywhere this year – most high mountain roads are still open – but by the end of the week snow should start to fall across the Continent, see more. Photo via @Presserom.


roundup: WINTER TYRES. As of 15 November, and up until 15 March, all drivers in Slovenia, of vehicles up to 3.5t, must either have winter tyre – or carry snow chains – in wintry weather conditions reminds @UKinSlovenia. Vehicles 3.5t+ must have winter tyres on the driven axles. Fines range from €125 to €417 for causing an obstruction. See Automobile Association of Slovenia for more. Meanwhile, from 15 November drivers on more roads in Italy are subject to winter tyre (or snow chain) obligations. See the CCISS Transport Ministry site for more. LUXEMBOURG. Two burglars fled a house in north east Luxembourg in a right hand drive UK-registered car reports Wort.lu. The two men were discovered by the property owner inside a farm in Hoscheid-Dickt on the N7 near the German border yesterday. The pair reportedly apologised profusely as they left, surely leaving their nationality in no doubt whatsoever. TRUCKS. So-called Ecocombis – also known as LHVs, Longer Heavier Vehicles – will be allowed to drive between the Netherlands and Belgium from 2017 reports TTM.nl. Limited to 60t and a maximum 25.25m, the extra large trucks are already in use in the Netherlands though only recently started trials in Belgium. ‘It is incomprehensible that Ecocombis are admitted in the territory of neighbouring countries but cannot bridge the few meters across the border. This goes right against the principles of freedom of movement and is incompatible with our European internal market,’ says MEP Philippe De Backer.


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