• France's news in English

Travel delays expected as holiday exodus starts

Matthew Warren · 30 Jun 2011, 09:20

Published: 30 Jun 2011 09:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Jun 2011 09:20 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

This weekend is set to be a busy one on the roads, trains and at airports as the French holiday season gets underway.

Friday marks the start of school holidays in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, with large waves of holidaymakers taking to the roads and heading south.

An opinion poll released yesterday by Ipsos-Europe Assistance said that 60% of the French will take their summer holidays in France this year. The figure is up 6% on last year and is largely due to continuing uncertainty about the economy.


French road traffic authority, Bison Futé, uses a colour scheme to signal traffic conditions and has labelled Friday and Saturday as orange days. This means drivers can expect heavy traffic and difficult driving. The expectation is that the Ile-de-France region around Paris and the Rhone Valley will be red, meaning very heavy traffic.


Train company SNCF is also gearing up for a busy summer by laying on 415 additional high-speed TGV trains over the next two weekends. The operator expects to carry 20 million travellers in July and August, up from 18 million last year.


A further 900,000 people are expected to pass through Paris' two main airports, Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly, at the weekend. The airport operator, ADP, is laying on a schedule of entertainment for children including, it claims, a Rio-style carnival atmosphere featuring dancers and fancy dress. Grown-ups will be offered 'fish pedicures', where small fish gently nibble at weary travellers' feet and, for the less adventurous, massage facilities.

Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available