Red travel alert on French roads as families gear up for the summer getaway

Red travel alert on French roads as families gear up for the summer getaway
Expect heavy traffic on French motorways this weekend. Photo: Jeff Pachoud | AFP
This is the first weekend of the school summer holidays in France, so expect roads to be especially busy for the first big family getaway of the season, travel experts have warned.

France’s traffic monitor Bison Futé set its four-colour alert level to orange for most of the country on Friday, July 9th, but placed the Île-de-France region on red traffic alert – its second-highest level.

Image: Bison Futé screengrab

Traffic will be heavy on most major routes to the south and coastal regions, it said in an update on its website.

In Île-de-France, it warned that traffic on the A6 and A10 motorways would be ‘very heavy’ from the end of the morning. The Périphérique, the A86 and the A6B will also be affected, it said – adding that roads heading out of Paris would be busy until late into the evening.

Further afield, it expected traffic issues on the outskirts of major cities between 3pm and 7pm. The A10 from Paris to Bordeaux and the A7 – the autoroute du Soleil – to the south of France are expected to bear the brunt of the traffic issues.

On Saturday, July 10th, Bison Futé’s entire travel map of France turns red, with heavy traffic forecast throughout the day, especially in the Île-de-France towards the A6 and A10 motorways. The A13 may also experience traffic problems towards Normandy and Brittany.

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Image: Bison Futé screengrab

The Mediterranean arc and, to a lesser extent, the Rhone valley will experience the usual difficulties linked to the first holiday departures.

Bison Futé also reminded travellers that the Tour de France is forcing road closures in southwest France this weekend. On Friday, the peloton travels between Nîmes and Carcassonne, then from Carcassonne to Quillan on Saturday, and from Céret to Andorre-la-Vieille on Sunday.

Major traffic problems are expected as the peloton passes through, as well as access to the start and finish towns.

France’s first ‘black travel day’ of the summer, when traffic is expected to be at its worst in France is predicted for July 31st, when returning juilletiste holidaymakers crossover with outbound aoûtiens.

ALSO READ: Juilletistes vs Aoûtiens: Do France’s two summer holiday tribes still exist?


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