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LIFE IN PARIS

Major works planned on Paris public transport over November holiday weekend

Travel in Paris over the November 1st holiday weekend will be severely impacted because of a major programme of works on the city's public transport network.

Major works planned on Paris public transport over November holiday weekend
Travel between Charles de Gaulle airport and the city will be badly hit. Photo: AFP

The French rail operator SNCF is taking advantage of the three-day weekend created by the public holiday on Friday, November 1st (Toussaint) to do some major modernisation works on the city's RER suburban train network.

Among the many closures on the RER network is the RER B line that connects Charles de Gaulle airport to the city – so anyone planning a trip to or from the airport is advised to allow extra time for their journey.

On the RER line B there will be no trains at all between Aulnay-sous-Bois and Charles de Gaulle airport from Friday, November 1st to Sunday, November 3rd inclusive. The more central part of the line will still be operating, but will be departing from a different, overground, platform at Gare du Nord. Replacement bus services will be running to and from the airport.

The RER lines A,C, L, J and N will all have complete closures on sections of the line, with bus replacement services on offer.

However travellers are advised to add up to 45 minutes on to their usual journey time and to expect crowded services.

The works are being done to modernise the network and include electrification, the creation of new control rooms and new sections of track.

On the RER line B the works include extra storage space to allow for construction of the 'Charles de Gaulle Express' service which is planned for 2025.

You can see the full list of closures and replacement services here.

 

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TRAVEL

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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