Traffic jam warnings issued across France as holidaymakers head off for long ‘bridge’ weekend

Traffic jam warnings issued across France as holidaymakers head off for long 'bridge' weekend
The current coronavirus situation has lead to more people than usual opting for the car as a means of transport this year, to avoid crowding on trains and planes and potential exposure to the virus. P
Franc's traffic forecaster has predicted jams on the roads this weekend as holidaymakers head off for the "grandes vacances" and others make the most of the long "bridge" weekend.

France has kicked off its grandes vacances (summer holidays), which means increased traffic on the country's roads at weekends as city dwellers head to the coast, the countryside and the mountains.

The current coronavirus situation has lead to more people than usual opting for the car as a means of transport this year, to avoid crowding on trains and planes and potential exposure to the virus.

Les Grandes Vacances: What you need to know about France's summer holidays in 2020

Although not everyone drives away at the same time, some dates are more popular than others.

Saturday, July 11th, is predicted to be particularly busy as many people will take advantage of the public holiday on Tuesday – when France celebrates its Bastille Day – to faire le pont (do the bridge) and go away on a long weekend.

Bison Futé, the government-run side that monitors traffic levels in France, has placed the whole country on 'red alert' for those leaving to go on holiday on Saturday.

 

Red is the second highest level after black and signals 'very heavy' traffic.

Anyone leaving the Paris region on July 11th should leave after 4pm, according to Bison Futé.

The map below shows the roads where traffic is expected to be especially difficult (red), difficult (orange) and normal (green) on Saturday.

Photo: Bison Futé

On Friday, Bison Futé set the country on orange alert – meaning traffic would be 'heavy' –  for people going on holiday while the Paris region Île-de-France was coloured red.

For those coming back from holiday the situation would be largely as normal (green alert) except in the southwest, which was coloured orange.

Sunday was predicted to be calmer with most of the country coloured red except for some areas where there traffic could be heavy, although the whole country has been set on a green level for those coming back from holiday.

Looking forward, there are some dates to look out for:
  •  August 1st and 8th for going on holiday 
  • August 22nd and 29th for coming back.
One of the most iconic forms of rivalry between French holidaymakers is the opposition between the juilletistes and the aoûtiens – those who go on holiday in July versus those who prefer August. 
 
 
 

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