Intense Weekend Traffic Not Just in France

France may be stealing all the headlines with its Black Saturday, but traffic is set to be intense this weekend in most other Western European countries.

Also, a new twofer offer from the Mercedes and Porsche museums. Huge hike in Crimea traffic accidents. ‘Unaffordable’ Albania road tolls. Stockholm crash band release posthumous album. New Italian pro-driver minimum wage rule.

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INTENSE WEEKEND TRAFFIC NOT JUST IN FRANCE

‘Strong nerves’ needed in Germany as Austria reaches a climax.

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ADAC is known for its choice words to describe the amount of holiday traffic on German roads.

Even so, ‘drivers will need strong nerves’, and ‘the whole of the country is on the move’ should strike particular terror into the hearts of anyone intending to drive in Germany this weekend.

It will be almost as bad as France’s Black Saturday though they don’t go in for such showy titles across the border.

Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg start the holidays while states in the north and east and thr Netherlands start the second wave of departures.

Scandinavia heads home ahead of the imminent new school term (yes, really).

The good news is that there is just one more bad weekend to go before the summer rush is over.

No such luck in Switzerland unfortunately where the traffic season is barely half way finished.

The Gotthard Tunnel will be especially busy – southbound from Friday morning until late, and on Saturday from early morning until about 17:00 says TCS. Then northbound on Sunday from 11 to 21 hours.

Meanwhile, traffic reaches a climax in Austria says motoring club OEAMTC as drivers head to and from the Adriatic.

Even worse, Putin’s visit to Slovenia on Saturday closes the A11 Villach-Ljubljana cross-border Karawanke Tunnel 09:00-18:00 meaning more traffic on alternative routes.

Vignette dodgers will also clog B179 Fernpass in both directions and, likely, motorway border queues with Germany.

Italy is not quite there yet – next weekend is Black Saturday – but roads to coastal resorts will be charged on Saturday and, particularly, A22 Brennero Innsbruck-Verona in both directions.

The jam calendar in Spain also shows this is one of the busiest weekends of the summer.

Starting late Friday, drivers leave the cities heading for the coasts with similar all day Saturday plus returns starting to creep in. It all culminates late Sunday with heavy traffic heading every which way, to and from the cities, and the coasts.

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Until 30 December, visitors to both the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums in Stuttgart get 25 percent off the entrance price of the second museum, on presentation of their ticket from the first. This reduces the ticket price from €8 to €6. ‘Many visitors tell us that the museums are the only reason they travel to Stuttgart. We are honouring this with a joint campaign,’ says Christian Boucke, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic and Customer Centre. A 1966 Mercedes-Benz W111 230S is on display in front of the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen and a 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 is outside the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Bad Cannstatt to promote the deal. See more at Porsche Newsroom

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roundup: the number of road accidents in Crimea is up by 40 percent for the first six months of the year – compared to the same period last year – with road deaths increasing by 15 percent reports Crimea News Agency. It doesn’t say why, but last week Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev visited the newly acquired territory and promised RUB100 billion (£1.15 billion) for a new road between ferry port Kerch on the east coast and capital Simferopol, a distance of 130 miles. One Russian MP noted that was a quarter of the national healthcare budget. Kerch is also on the Crimea end of the in-build road and rail Kerch Bridge, what will be the only physical connection to the Russian mainland… over in Albania suspicions have been raised by an ‘unaffordable’ new toll on a stretch of the Nation’s Road between Tirana and Kosovo capital Pristina. The 114km section between Milot, 50km north of Tirana, and Morina near the Kosovo border is €5.20 (3.63c per km, about half that in France). A return journey would be a significant proportion of the country’s monthly minimum wage of €160 says the Independent Balkan News Agency. However, the government says the charge was recommended by the World Bank despite initially suggesting it would be up to €4 each way. The Nation Road toll is a pilot road charging project – several previous tenders for the new road apparently failed… police are apparently no closer to finding out how the accident happened, but an album from the band who were all killed when their car drove into a canal in Stockholm in February has been released posthumously reports France24. Five members of Viola Beach died plus their manager. The album is called Viola Beach. Coldplay played one of the songs at Glastonbury in June… Italy has now joined many other Continental countries with a new minimum wage law for truck drivers. Unlike the others however, the rule will only apply to cabotage work, i.e. jobs wholly within Italy. There is no general minimum wage in Italy but transport and logistics workers must be paid at least €11 per hour. The new law entered force on 21 July says Cadena de Suministro.

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