Week Ahead: Taxi + Farmer Demos, MEP Truck Report

THE WEEK AHEAD: more farmer demos in Brittany, western France. Presentation of report on ‘social dumping’ in the truck industry to MEPs. Major taxi strike in Paris and possibly other French cities.

Also, traffic, weather and truck bans.

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Last June's Paris taxi strike.

Last June’s Paris taxi strike.

With migrants on the rampage, and MyFerryLink union boss Eric Vercoutre yet to extract his promised revenge on Eurotunnel, anything could happen in Calais.

But with a new meeting between the strikers and the French minister of transport now scheduled for next month – and the minister of the Interior promising to keep law and order at the port – hopefully it will be quieter this week.

Doubtless highly disruptive however will be the taxi strike in Paris on Tuesday (and possibly Bordeaux and Marseille).

Like last June, drivers will gather from 06:00CET at Charles de Gaulle airport in the north, beside the A1, and Orly Airport in the south, near the A6.

They then head up to Port Maillot in the northwest of the Peripherique ring road according to details in Le Parisien.

Previous taxi strikes saw long delays behind slow moving road blocks. Better avoid central Paris on Tuesday if possible (read a heavily anti-taxi explainer here).

Before then, French farmers are also expected to continue their demonstrations on the N12 in Brittany.

Protestors blocked the road both ways west of Guingamp, and at least one lane west of Saint-Brieuc last week. The action was called off on Friday but is set to resume, possibly from Monday, according to autoroute.info.

Also on Monday, ‘shadow rapporteur’ MEP Jens Nilsson presents a draft opinion on ‘Social Dumping in the European Union’ to the European Parliament’s Transport & Tourism Committee (read it here).

Social rules governing truck drivers will be a hot topic this year ahead of a new EU ‘Roads Package’ due in June.

Most of the work is being done in the Committee on Employment & Social Affairs but transport MEPs want their say too.

The general direction of travel, as spelt out by Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc last year, is to enforce existing rules better.

One suggestion, endorsed by Nilsson, is to create a ‘European Road Transport Agency’ to police the sector.

The item is last on the agenda of the meeting which takes place from 15-18:00 and is web-streamed here.

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Weather: much milder weather this week making its way across the Continent from west to east with temperatures into the early teens. However, wet and windy weather to move in from mid-week says the BBC.

Traffic: no traffic alerts in France until early next month. Slightly busier than usual in Germany on Wednesday then the usual weekend rush – not major – on Friday and Saturday. It will be a little busier in winter-traffic-epicentre western Austria on Saturday thanks to a skiing competition at Seefeld near Innsbruck. No warnings for Switzerland or Italy.

Truck bans: no mid-week truck bans.

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2 thoughts on “Week Ahead: Taxi + Farmer Demos, MEP Truck Report

  1. Surely this blocking of major roads and motorways is illegal. I notice motorists are not blocking entrances to farmers yards, If farmers and taxi drivers have grievances – why take it out on other workers and families? There must be a better and legal way for them to exercise their issues. Moreover, who pays to clear up the mess afterward?

    • Hi Philip – really sorry if you’ve been caught up in this. It’s far from the first time recently. As I understand it, the right to strike is sacred in France, the only thing the police object to is outright violence. Re clearing up, again as far as I know it’s the local authorities/road operators – the A84 Caen-Rennes autoroute was closed for three days this week by a farmer blockade – they only left at 12:00 today but it’s still closed for ‘cleaning’.

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