Some high mountain roads in Switzerland, Austria and Italy are still open, two of which allow handy dodges around winter holiday traffic.
Also, a quick look at Hitman Agent 47. Slim pickings for migrants’ Christmas Day Calais attack. Migrants and borders take their toll on Waberers.
HAHNTENNJOCH, FLUELA PASS AND PENSERJOCH ALL STILL OPEN
Traffic still able to dodge through the mountains on some important winter routes.
The lack of major snow means a special ski bus will run over the 2770m (9087ft) Col de l’Iseran tomorrow (Monday).
It tops an extra-ordinarily long mountain road season this year.
According to Graubunden Strasseninfos there isn’t even any snow on the road at the moment.
Fluela is hardly strategic but it is a short cut to Davos from Italy and Austria.
Described as ‘rather narrow’ despite ‘repeated widenings in recent years’, Penserjoch normally closes in mid-November.
Austria’s extra-handy 1894m Hahntennjoch is yet to shut too.
Along with the B198 from Reutte, it’s an alternative to the log-jammed B179 Fernpass when crossing between Germany and western Austria at busy times, especially over the winter holidays.
This road also normally closes in November.
Finally, at least one mountain road got its winter lock last week regardless. Locals in Authon in the southern French Alps were incensed on Tuesday after the authorities got sick of waiting for snow and closed the road to Dignes les Bains anyway. The detour adds another half hour to the 45min journey.
roundup: CALAIS MIGRANT CRISIS. If the migrants were expecting police to drop their guard on Christmas Day then they were surely, sorely mistaken. A mid-afternoon attempt (by hundreds) to break into Eurotunnel, which saw the A16 autoroute closed, was done and dusted within a couple of hours. Meanwhile, on Christmas Eve, Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart resigned from her post in the regional government to concentrate on the migrant crisis, saying she was heading for a ‘showdown’ with the UK, and again calling for the army to be brought in (an idea earlier dismissed as ‘unthinkable‘ by the Ministry of Defence). Bouchart’s move came a day after meeting Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in Paris where it seemed the focus shifted to the enforcement of existing laws. Last week, La Voix du Nord reported that few migrants have been prosecuted for the new offence of trespassing on the port road, introduced after repeated blockades in recent weeks. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira will visit Calais with Cazeneuve next month and attend the next meeting. However, since the last two migrant attacks have now been on Eurotunnel – which maintained uninterrupted services both times – maybe the tougher regime is working. HAULAGE. Hungarian mega-haulier Waberer is losing 500km per month per truck thanks to the migrant crisis and new internal border controls in Europe. The firm announced ‘major losses’ according to business website Portfolio.hu and has postponed its stock market listing. Waberer runs a fleet of 3400 vehicles from its headquarters in Budapest. The sheer number of its vehicles parked up in northern Europe over Christmas was cited last week as evidence of social dumping.