'Red' travel warning across France as third batch of holidaymakers plan their big getaways

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 24 Jul, 2021 Updated Sat 24 Jul 2021 09:40 CEST
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Motorists drive and queue in their vehicles on the A7 motorway between Lyon and Vienne, southeastern France, during a heavy traffic jam on the first major weekend of the French summer holidays, on July 10, 2021. (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP)

It’s a weekend during the summer holidays in France - that means traffic jams.


France’s roads watchdog Bison Futé has issued a ‘red’ travel warning - its second highest travel alert - for the whole country on Saturday, July 24th, as the latest batch of holidaymakers make a break for the coasts.

It has also issued an orange travel alert on Saturday for those heading home after their summer getaways.


Image: Bison Futé

"Traffic difficulties will be significant on all of the country's major routes," Bison Futé said in its travel forecast for Saturday. "Departures on vacation will begin fairly early in the morning and will continue until the end of the afternoon" . 

Traffic jams are expected in particular "in the Rhône valley on the A7 motorway, on the A8 and A9 motorways along the Mediterranean, as well as on the A10 motorway heading to the south-west". 

It advised motorists to expect heavy traffic and delays on the following routes or areas: 


  • Across the Île-de-France between 8am and 6pm;

  • The A11 between Paris and le Mans from 10am to 12noon, and between Le Mans and Nantes from 9am to 6pm; 

  • The A10 from Orléans to Tours from 7am to 12noon, and from Poitiers to Bordeaux between 9am and 3pm;

  • The Bordeaux area from 8am to 4pm;

  • the A62 between Bordeaux and Toulouse, from 10am to 1pm;

  • the A61 between Toulouse and Narbonne, from 9am to 12noon;

  • the A7 between Lyon and Marseille from 9am to 5pm;

  • the A9 between Orange and Montpellier from 7am to 5pm, and between Montpellier and Narbonne, from 8am to 3pm;

  • The A43 motorway between Lyon and Chambéry, from 9 am to 5 pm;

  • It also warned travellers to expect delays at the Mont-Blanc tunnel (N205) between France and Italy from 5am to 6pm - in particular between 10am and 1pm.


  • Across the Île-de-France before 1pm;

  • The A11 between Nantes and Angers, from 8am to 4pm;

  • The A10 between Tours and Orléans, from 2pm to 5pm;

  • The A7 between Orange and Lyon from 9am to 3pm, and between Marseille and Salon-de-Provence, from 10am to 2pm;

  • The A9 between Montpellier and Orange, from 10am to 6pm;

  • The A71 between Clermont-Ferrand and Orléans, from 10am to 1pm;

  • The A62 between Toulouse and Bordeaux, from 10am to 1pm.

Bison Futé also warned that roadworks on the A20 motorway, south of Brive-la-Gaillarde, will reduce traffic flow to a single lane in each direction - and said traffic jams should be expected at busy periods. Motorists have been advised to avoid the area at peak times if possible.

High traffic levels are expected to start on Friday afternoon, it said, with those seeking an early getaway to avoid the worst of the traffic adding to the normal Friday night commute around numerous towns and cities. 

And the worst is yet to come. The traditional ‘crossover’ between the juilletistes and aoutiens holidaymakers next weekend is forecast to be busier still.

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




The Local 2021/07/24 09:40

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