No Let Up in May Holiday Traffic

Traffic this week is set to be a re-run of last week – though hopefully a bit quieter in France.

Also, another migrant killed on Calais port road. Paris holds its first regular Car-Free Sunday. Another record month for Eurotunnel freight. Vehicles rescued from flood after drivers ignore no parking signs in St Malo. Italy start cross-border recovery of traffic fines, with a five year limit.



Consecutive weeks of very heavy national holiday traffic.


The great thing about a big holiday days on the Continent is that the roads are normally quiet for the few weekends afterwards.

That’s particularly great in the summer months when drivers get all the gain of sunshine and clear skies – hopefully – and none of the pain associated with loaded roads full of holidaymakers.

However, the supercharged roads seen across the Ascension Day holiday last week are set for a repeat this weekend for Pentecost (Pfingsten), in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

The better news is that traffic will not be quite so heavy in France.

It will be particularly busy leaving Paris from Friday afternoon (13 May), and roads in France generally will be busier than usual on Friday and Saturday as drivers head out, and back again on Monday.

But Sunday (15 May) will be quiet and there are no more traffic warnings after that until Friday 1 July.

Over in Germany, drivers are set for another hellish day on Friday (13 May), as bad if not worse than Wednesday just gone.

There are also another six very busy days in the rest of the month, mainly at weekends but also including Monday 16 May and Wednesday 25 May.

June should be quieter except for every Friday, and two Saturdays mid-month, before very heavy holiday traffic kicks in mid-July.

Switzerland just has one more bad weekend ahead of a long period of quiet finishing in early July.

Three of the five days over this coming weekend are ‘extremely busy’ – Friday, Saturday and Monday – interspersed with a barely-less-busy Sunday and Tuesday.

Traffic heads south initially before northbound queues start on Saturday.

Meanwhile Italy gets in on the act too after a quiet Ascension holiday. A22 Brennero southbound from the Austrian border to Verona (and on to Modena near Bologna) will be busy all weekend, but especially so on Saturday morning (14 May).

So much, as always, depends on the weather. Too stormy increases the risk of big accidents. Too hot encourages day trippers onto the roads (which undoubtedly played its part in yesterday’s horrendous delays).

As it stands, according to the BBC, last weekend’s fine weather looks set to break. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for overcast skies and below average temperatures and it seems we might get it.


champs4 hig

Paris held the first of its regular car-free Sundays on the Champs-Elysees yesterday. It was originally due to be held last Sunday but was shifted forwards to take over after the 8 May ‘Victory in Europe’ commemoration. The session was held from 12:00 until 20:00. The event will held on the first Sunday of every month, the next being Sunday 5 June. Paris will hold a much bigger Car-Free day in September as part of European Mobility Week. Photo Paris mayor @Anne_Hidalgo


roundup: CALAIS MIGRANT CRISIS. Another migrant was hit and killed by a truck on the port road overnight according to regional President Xavier Bertrand. It brings the number of migrants killed on the roads in the area to four since the start of the year. After recent reports of almost nightly trouble on the N216/A216, Bertrand says the situation has not improved for truck drivers. However, his account is disputed by local paper La Voix du Nord which says the 24 year old Pakistani migrant was killed by a car at 03:30 on the A16 autoroute junction with A216. Whatever – drivers should be extra careful around Calais at night (a British driver has since been taken into custody in connection with the incident and subsequently released). Meanwhile, Eurotunnel freight set its sixth consecutive monthly record in April, carrying just short of 140,000 trucks. It was also the third best month ever for the Channel Tunnel operator behind March 2016 and March 2015. However, the Channel Tunnel operator appears to have given up hopes of operating a freight-only service with the Nord Pas de Calais vessel it inherited from now-defunct MyFerryLink. The ship has departed for Spain where it will operate a route to North Africa. FRANCE. Twelve drivers who ignored – or misunderstood – ‘no parking’ signs in St Malo on Friday had their cars rescued by fire fighters after they were overtaken by a so-called ‘supertide’. Four were already underwater reports The Connexion France. The vehicles were parked in an area marked ‘Cale Inondable’ – floodable slipway – on a white triangle sign with a red border, and a graphic showing a vehicle underwater. On a scale of 0-120, the high tide in St Malo on Friday was 113. ITALY has now ratified the EU’s cross-border prosecution for traffic offences directive. It came into force on 27 March reports ADAC. It means drivers can be prosecuted at home for speeding, not using a seatbelt, failing to stop at red lights, drink driving, driving under the influence of drugs, not wearing a safety helmet, using a forbidden lane, or using a mobile phone. It does not apply to drivers from the UK, Denmark or Ireland for the time being but the notable feature of Italian law is that these offences only expire after five years.


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