Weekend traffic chaos forecast for French roads

France's traffic info services have warned that the roads will be well and truly clogged this weekend as holidaymakers return home. Here's what you need to know.

Weekend traffic chaos forecast for French roads
Being stuck in a car or a train will not be pleasant this weekend. Photo: AFP
There's only a week left until most French children will return to school, and accordingly, many families are beginning to head home to get ready.
France's traffic info service Bison Futé is well aware of the potential chaos, and has forecast a weekend of heavy traffic – especially on Saturday.
Here is a breakdown.
The Rhone-Alpes-Auvergne area, as well as the Mediterranean arch have been given a region-specific red alert for holidaymakers heading home. 
The service issued an orange alert nationwide.
It predicted “a very difficult day” on the national roads and issued a nationwide red level alert.
The service said traffic would be even worse in the south-western and south-eastern reaches of the country, issuing the areas black level alerts – the highest on the spectrum. 

(This map shows the areas forecast to be worst hit over the weekend. Photo: Bison Futé)
“Circulation will be exceptionally difficult between Bordeaux and the Spanish border, and also along the Mediterranean Arch up to Orange,” it noted.
Orange is a town where highways from the eastern and western halves of the Mediterranean coast meet as they head north. 
A nationwide orange alert for returning holidaymakers, as well as an orange alert on the Mediterranean arch for those departing. 
In general, the service recommended avoiding the major roads in the southern half of France between 11am and the mid-evening between Friday and Sunday to be safe. 
If you're heading back to Paris on Sunday, you're advised to steer clear of the A10, A6, and the A13 between 2pm and 10pm.
For more traffic information for France, consult Bison Futé (in English) throughout the weekend.

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Traffic warnings issued in France for Pentecost holiday weekend

Traffic authorities have warned of busy roads as people in France head off for the long Pentecost weekend.

Traffic warnings issued in France for Pentecost holiday weekend
Many French people will be heading off for a long weekend until Monday, which marks the Christian celebration of Pentecost (Pentecôte). Photo: Ludovic MARIN / AFP

Roads will be busy across most of the country on Friday as many people in France take advantage of the public holiday on Monday 24th, which marks the Christian celebration of Pentecost (Pentecôte).

READ ALSO: Pentecost: The French public holiday where people work for free

Bison Futé, the government-run website that monitors traffic levels in France, has put most of the country on orange alert (third highest) on Friday for departures, except for the greater Paris Île-de-France region and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, which were on red alert (second highest).

READ ALSO: What changes in France on Wednesday as phase 2 of reopening begins?

Photo: Bison Futé

On Saturday the whole country will also be on orange alert for departures except for the Île-de-France region, which will be on red alert. And the same will be the case on Monday for returns.

Photo: Bison Futé

Rail disruption for trains to Marseille and from Paris to Toulouse

With SCNF carrying out works at the Saint-Charles station in Marseille, there is expected to be significant disruption in trains arriving in the southern French city from Saturday 22nd and Monday 24th of May.

This includes the TER trains between Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, Avignon via Arles, Narbonne and Lyon; the Intercités between Marseille and Bordeaux (a bus service will be available on Sunday 23rd of May) and the TGV Inoui and Ouigo trains.

The Intercité line from Paris to Toulouse will also be severely disrupted due to building works. There will be no trains running on Sunday, and will restart progressively from Monday.

From Wednesday May 19th, the curfew has been pushed back from 7pm to 9pm. So if you are travelling between 9pm and 6am, you need to fill the latest version of the attestation, which can be found on the TousAntiCovid app.