Border Delays Back in Wake of Nice Attack

The latest terrorist outrage in France sees the return of border queues, exacerbated by heavy holiday traffic. Most affected so far is northern France and the UK side of the English Channel.

Also, a new sign for Spain’s most dangerous stretches. And, harsher penalties for dangerous driving in Poland. New advice to avoid stowaways in Belgium. Medical rules relaxed on EU driving licences.



Most affected northern France and UK-side English Channel.

French authorities have actually closed E40 Ostend-Dunkirk/Calais at the border, forcing drivers off the motorway and through a security cordon leading to long delays in recent days. Photo @VID

French authorities have actually closed E40 Ostend-Dunkirk/Calais at the border, forcing drivers off the motorway and through a security cordon leading to long delays in recent days. Photo @VID

Sadly it seems last week’s Nice Attack has picked up where the Euro 16 football tournament left off.

Within a few days of the competition’s end, and a day after President Hollande announced the end of France’s state of emergency, the latest terrorist outrage in France has seen border delays return as security is stepped up again.

Queues have been exacerbated by heavy holiday traffic.

So far, the worst affected region is northern France.

Drivers have been typically delayed by one hour on the E40/A16 Ostend-Dunkirk/Calais road over the weekend, and again today, though the wait died down to 30 minutes by lunchtime.

Since the Paris Attack last November, queues have never completely disappeared from the E17 cross-border between Lille and Kortrijk but waits have increased to a regular 45 minutes in recent days.

Delays on the E19 crossing between Mons and Valenciennes have been slightly less at around 20-30 minutes.

Curiously, the important freight route in between E17 and E19 – E42 Lille-Charleroi – has been relatively free-flowing.

Last Friday, on the morning immediately following the incident in Nice, Germany, Italy and Spain said they would step up border controls.

There is little evidence of queues today but the Atlantic border between France and Spain, Bordeaux-Bilbao, is anyway another crossing with consistent border queues since last November.

The place where British drivers are most likely to experience is on the British side of the English Channel.

French authorities have continued the 100 percent passport checks in place since before Euro16.

Delays have hit two hours at the busiest times, especially from first thing over the weekend, Friday to Monday.

See an update from Saturday 23 July, including on border delays through Dover. 



As it looks to regain the momentum and make the final leap to among the safest roads in Europe (and the world), Spain unveils a new road sign to alert drivers to particularly dangerous stretches (and increased police presence). Like in most other countries, the majority of accidents happen on secondary roads and these are the focus of a new raft of measures coming on stream now. So far this year it looks like Spain is set – at best – for another year of stagnation. At the end of June, road deaths stood at 544 compared to 503 by the same point last year (an 8 percent increase). Photo @DGTes


roundup: sentences for death by dangerous driving cannot be suspended says a new bill published by the transport ministry, and the statute of limitations will be extended from two years to three reports Radio Poland. The move has been welcomed by road safety campaigners though they also say speeding fines are too low. From being the bad boy of EU road safety, a higher profile for the subject, harsher penalties and better roads have seen Poland make considerable strides recently. Road deaths fell 8 percent last year, and by 25 percent 2010-2015 according to EU figures… with 5000 ‘transit migrants’ having being detained in Belgium so far this year – as they attempt to reach the UK – authorities handed out a leaflet to truck drivers at Zeebrugge today containing tips on how to avoid stowaways reports Flanders News, including advice on where to stop, and where to spend the night. The proportion of trucks containing migrants has jumped from 15-16 percent to 35 percent says the transport minister… the EU has tweaked the rules on driving licences for drivers suffering chronic health conditions. On cardiovascular diseases it says there is now make a clear and simple distinction between when drivers are, or are not, allowed to drive with more leeway for Member States to assess exceptional individual cases. Updated rules on diabetes help avoid bans for drivers under ‘adequate’ medical treatment.


5 thoughts on “Border Delays Back in Wake of Nice Attack

  1. As usual the French are causing havoc at the start of the summer holidays. This time it is horrendous passport checks because of the “increased”terrorist threat, despite the fact that most attacks have been carried out by home-grown citizens. Why then arent there such rigorous controls on the French-Spanish, Belgium or German borders where traffic is flowing freely??

  2. Going to France twice in August – also expected the pre-Brexit/post-Brexit antagonism of those traveling from England. Surely if this was a reaction to Nice (and it shouldn’t be) the borders with Italy should be jammed. And Europe wonders why we left…like dealing with children. French strikes next!

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