Le Mans Speeders Well Down On Last Year, So Far

Many fewer speeding tickets for Le Mans-bound drivers this year though many more licences were withdrawn – also, there’s a party alternative to the inevitable post-race Eurotunnel crush.

And, a designer façade for the upcoming re-bored Karawanke Tunnel in Austria. Also, RHA repeats call for Calais army after migrant riots as new security fence is completed. Fatal coach crash on Belgrade highway. Fake traffic fines in Belgium, and fake ‘yellow angel’ ADAC vans in Serbia and Hungary. Europe’s worst blue badge parking fines in Malta. Super cheap fuel in duty-free Livigno. 

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LE MANS SPEEDERS WELL DOWN ON LAST YEAR

Speeding fines down but withdrawn licences significantly increase.

Photo @Gendarmerie

Photo @Gendarmerie

Last year nearly half of the 2000 drivers checked by police in the Orne region over the Le Mans 24 Hours weekend were found to be speeding.

The area covers the A88 from Caen and A28 from Rouen and Calais to the north of Le Mans.

‘Many of the offenders were of British nationality’ said the prefecture at the time.

This year, the number of Le Mans speeders in l’Orne fell to 177 according to police today.

However, 20 licenses were confiscated for exceeding the limit by more than 40kmh, compared to eleven last year.

The top speeds recorded were 195kmh, 194kmh, and 192kmh on the A88 and A28 autoroutes with 130kmh limits (and were almost as high on the 110kmh limited RN12 from Paris).

The licences of six British or Spanish drivers were taken away.

Meanwhile, in the Sarthe region itself, around Le Mans, 343 drivers were caught speeding with 22 licences withdrawn (there are no figures for last year).

These totals may increase as other prefectures publish results.

Finally, following the crush of returning drivers at Eurotunnel on Sunday evening and Monday, where border delays alone saw waits of up to four hours, the overnight Brittany Ferries Caen-Portsmouth route has been suggested as a good alternative.

Talking on twitter, EVO magazine founder Harry Metcalfe said it was the route many of the Le Mans racing drivers used themselves while David Pook recommended the ‘party boat atmosphere’.

Caen (Ouistreham) is the closest port to the Le Mans circuit at 175km. The ferry departs at 23:00 on Sunday nights with early boarding up to three hours before.

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Building starts at the end of next year on a second tube for the Austria-Slovenia Karawank Tunnel. When complete in 2021, the notorious summer bottleneck – currently with just one lane in each direction – will have an architect-designed façade. The winning firm, Hertl of Steyr, was announced today after a nationwide competition. The non-load bearing aluminium façade is designed to look ‘soft and translucent’ from a distance. It was described by the judges as ‘serene and elegant’. Roads manager ASFINAG says architectural input embeds the buildings into the landscape, and helps orientate drivers to improve road safety. The 7864m tunnel between Villach and Ljubljana costs €7.20 for a car. More at ASFINAG.at

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roundup: the RHA Road Haulage Association has reiterated its call from last year for the French army to step in and help protect truckers in Calais after yesterday’s riot and blockade on the port access road. Meanwhile, the new fence to protect the road is now complete reports La Voix du Nord, except for wiring the street lights and connecting surveillance cameras. However, there were reports yesterday that migrants had damaged fencing… five Slovak tourists were killed early this morning after their coach went off the road in Boboviste, southern Serbia, just north of Nis on the A1/E75 Belgrade motorway reports B92. They were on the way back from a holiday in Corfu… police in Belgium are warning of a fake traffic penalty email scam. The messages are professionally formatted – sometimes in the form of a late payment notice – and ask the recipient either to click a (virus) link, or make a payment. Federal Police say they never send such emails… fake ‘yellow angel’ ADAC breakdown vans are apparently circulating in Hungary and Serbia says Der Spiegel, either in full ADAC guise or with ‘on behalf of the ADAC’ written on the side. Drivers should be especially sceptical if a van turns up immediately after a mishap. They have also been known to block mobile phone calls to prevent verification. Outside Germany, ADAC only operates its own vehicles in northern Italy and Croatia… drivers who abuse disabled parking ‘blue badges’ face a fine of €230 then up to €1500 for a second or subsequent offence says Times of Malta. It is described as ‘one of the harshest fines in Europe’ – next worst is the UK at up to £1000. Only Estonia does not now have blue badge enforcement… duty-free Livigno in the Italian Alps – accessed in winter only by the Munt la Schera Tunnel – really does have super cheap fuel. Diesel currently comes in at €0.786 per litre and petrol at €0.940 according to Valtellina Mobile. The low tax regime is an historic arrangement, to stimulate business in a very remote region of the country, sandwiched between two strands of east Switzerland, within striking range of Stelvio, Bernina, Fluelapass, Ofenpass, Umrail and Gavia (among others, see more at PassFinder).

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