High mountain roads have stayed open particularly late this year but Fluela Pass really takes the biscuit.
Also, a quick look at the Aurora in Lapland. Very welcome extra ships on the Dover Strait in February. Brussels fingers Spanish roads. Bumper camera gear order for unmarked radar cars in France.
FLUELA PASS STAYING OPEN UNTIL EARLY JANUARY
Unprecedented late closing for high Swiss mountain pass.
Strangely – considering it tops out at 2383m (7818ft), it normally closes for winter in early December, and it was already snowy when we were there in late June last year – but ADAC insists Switzerland’s Fluela Pass will stay open until early January.
It has been an extraordinarily long mountain driving season this year. Col d’Izoard closed six weeks late last week, as did Col du Galibier. Even so, we understand January would be unprecedented.
Regional roads agency Graubunden Strasseninfos confirms Fluela is still open at the moment albeit ‘schneebedeckt’ (snow covered) and off-limits at night.
Along with Ofenpass – a favourite of Club Mulholland, and also still open at the moment – it runs for nearly 90km from the north end of Stelvio Pass, across the Italian border, to Davos-Klosters in east Switzerland (Graubunden).
EVO magazine enjoyed a recent visit to Fluela in a Porsche Boxster Spyder.
Meanwhile, Transfagarasan is still open too according to Romania-Insider.com. Romania’s blue-chip mountain road has an infamously narrow operating window but Bucharest public transport company RATB managed to demonstrate a new Czech-built electric bus on Monday by driving it over the pass from Pitesti in the south to Balea Lake in the north.
Finally, official French traffic site @TRAFSud also confirmed yesterday that Col de la Cayolle (2326m) closed for the winter today. Of the high Alps roads in France, just Col d’Allos (2250m) is still open.
roundup: CROSSING THE CHANNEL. The two former MyFerryLink ships now chartered to DFDS start on the Dover-Calais route in early February. They were due in the last part of this year but needed an extended overhaul after being occupied for several months by striking MyFerryLink workers in Calais this summer. The renamed Cote des Dunes and Cote de Flandres will be deployed on the Dover-Calais route on the 6 and 9 of February respectively according to an announcement at the firm’s latest results. DFDS will then operate three ships apiece on the Calais and Dunkirk routes from Dover. The extra capacity will help reduce the by-now-frequent queues seen at all three Dover Strait ports. SPAIN. A broadly positive report on the Spanish economy has however fingered transport policy reports El Pais English, specifically high speed trains and toll roads. ‘Madrid has given priority to geographic cohesion rather than improving efficiency. Investment policy has focused more on extending infrastructure rather than on the costs of maintaining it,’ says the report. Road operators keep profits while taxpayers shoulder losses it continues. However, aside from some motorways mainly in and around Madrid, recent updates say the country’s road network is starting to recover. FRANCE. Swedish firm Sensys Gatso has received a €1.5 million order for what it coyly describes as ‘in-vehicle safety systems’ from France: i.e. radar gear for unmarked police cars. The unnamed number of systems is due to be delivered in the first half of 2016. The French road safety authority announced last month it would outsource its previously very effective unmarked camera scheme. ‘The use of in-vehicle systems have proven to be a very effective way to reduce road casualties,’ says Sensys Gatso. In fact, unmarked cars have proven to be the only way to cut fatalities in France.