Hollande caught speeding on motorway

A car carrying President François Hollande was caught travelling at 160 km/h on the motorway from Paris to the northern town of Caen.

Hollande has boasted he would be a “normal” president, close to the people. So instead of jumping on a jet to attend official functions, Hollande prefers to take the train or travel by car. But to make up for time lost, the French president has employed some unusual tactics.

On Wednesday, Hollande’s car was caught speeding on the motorway at up to 160 km/h on his way to Caen to commemorate D-Day. That’s according to journalists from radio RMC and TV channel BFMTV who were following him.

Hollande’s driver was also caught entering the tunnel of la Défense in the outskirts of Paris at 140km/h. That’s twice the authorised speed. 

In Caen, journalists caught up with Hollande and asked whether he remembers speeding on the motorway.

“No speeding, I don’t know, did you notice anything?” asked the president. Apparently he didn’t notice anything.

On Wednesday, Hollande commemorated the 68th anniversary of D-Day, attending a military ceremony in the British cemetery of Ranville, before visiting the Caen-Normandy memorial.

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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro