Traffic jams forecast in France as families plan a Toussaint getaway

A traffic jam on a motorway in France
Photo: Jean-Pierre Clatot / AFP
Expect heavy traffic on French roads on Friday as French families gear up for take advantage of the long weekend to enjoy a Toussaint getaway.

After a relatively quiet first weekend of the school holidays on the roads in France, authorities expect traffic will be much heavier this weekend.

France’s roads watchdog Bison Futé has placed most of the country on orange travel alert – its third-highest available alert level – on Friday, as families set off on a holiday getaway. In the Paris region of Île-de-France it has upped the alert to red.

The forecaster has advised motorists not to travel across Île-de-France after 12 noon.

“Traffic will be particularly heavy from the end of the morning in the direction of the various toll gates, especially on the A1, A10, A13 and A6 freeways, as well as on the ring road and the A86,” it warned.

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Traffic in and around France’s major cities will also be heavy, it said, advising anyone who can avoid travelling in those areas between 2pm and 8pm to do so if possible.

It also urged motorists to avoid the A7 between Salon-de-Provence and Marseille, the A9 between Orange and Montpellier and the A43 between Lyon and Chambéry towards the end of the day. 

In addition, it warned that the Mont Blanc tunnel would see heavy traffic heading to Italy from 9am to 6pm.

Travel levels on French roads over the rest of the holiday weekend are expected to be close to normal, although Bison Fute noted that schools in Belgium and Luxembourg were also due to break up for the holidays this weekend, so there may be some additional traffic in France.

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