A Glance around France: The 23 bridges at risk and a ‘gastro’ epidemic in Brittany and the east

A Glance around France: The 23 bridges at risk and a 'gastro' epidemic in Brittany and the east
Photo: AFP
Here's a look at some of the main stories from around France on Wednesday.
Bridges at risk
There was some worrying news about the state of France's bridges on Wednesday. 
A report by the Ministry of Transport revealed that of the country's 164 largest bridges, 23 are in need of urgent construction work. 
The report, which was ordered after the tragic bridge collapse in Italy August, shows that only one of the bridges investigated was classified as being “in good condition”. 
Among the bridges in the worst condition was the Echinghen viaduct in the northern Pas-de-Calais region and the Caronte bridge in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in southern France.
A total of 21 bridges were classified as “constructions whose structure had altered and required non-urgent repair work however most of the bridges were classified as having just “minor defects”.
“This classification of bridge condition is a tool to indicate the level of repairs needed and how urgent they are. It does not reflect a security risk,” said the Transport Ministry. 
The Paralysed Association of France (APF) staged a demonstration in the French capital on Wednesday to demand more accessibility for disabled people on public transports. 
Protesters covered up maps of the Paris Metro to show just how many stations were accessible to those in wheelchairs: only 9 out of 303. Basically most of Line 14, which is the newest Metro line.
That effectively means the Metro is out of bounds for many of the 1.3 million people with disabilities living in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France, which translates to 12 percent of the population.
Farmers in the Dordogne are furious. 
And the reason is all to do with the devastation to their crops left by the high number of wild boars in the area… and the fact that the hunters aren't stopping them. 
“The different groups of hunters are not working together and we do not have the right to intervene,” said one farmer whose field of corn had been destroyed by the animals. 

No doubt there are about to be some very angry motorists in the Lyon area. 
From January the speed limit on the ring road around the city will drop from 90 km/h to 70 km/h in a bid to cut down on pollution. 
“A lowering of the authorized speed makes it possible to considerably reduce the amount of pollutants of the air,” said the president of the city, David Kimelfeld.
Lyon is aiming reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020.



A motorist travelling around Brittany unwittingly helped save the lives of six burglars who were breaking into an old man's home. 
The owner of the house that the burglar's were targeting had booby trapped his home with explosives in order to protect himself from anyone breaking in. 
The thieves were entering his house before being scared off by a passing motorist. 
When the police arrived they discovered so many explosives that bomb disposal experts were called to the scene. 


'Gastro' is back in Eastern France (and Brittany)

With the colder weather the bugs have returned to Brittany with a vengence. The western region has just passed the official epidemic threshold for gastroenteritis which is based on how many patients consult a doctor with symptoms such as acute diarrhoea. 

But Brittany is not the only region to have an epidemic of the runs. The folk in the Grand Est region are also suffering from the return of the stomach bug.

In fact it's even worse in the east with 165 cases per 100,000 people compared to 135/100,000 in Brittany. South western France hasn't escaped stomach upsets either although the number of cases hasn't quite reached the threshold of 128 /100,000 for an epidemic.

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