Traffic warning as French families ‘bridge’ November 11 public holiday

Three lanes of heavy traffic with headlights on driving along a French motorway in low visibility
Photo: Jean-Francois Monier / AFP
Motorists are warned to expect heavy traffic on France’s motorways and major roads on Wednesday afternoon, with many people expected to take advantage of the Armistice Day public holiday to create a four-day weekend.

France’s roads monitor Bison Futé has raised its traffic alert level to yellow across most of the country on Wednesday, and red for the Ile-de-France, and warned of ‘traffic difficulties greater than those [usually] observed on an ordinary Wednesday’.

It has predicted especially heavy traffic heading away from the capital on the A1, A4, A10, A13 and A6 motorways as well as on the ring road and the A86, and has recommended avoiding travel in the greater Paris area after 2pm.

Thursday is a public holiday in France to mark Armistice Day, and also provides one of the few opportunities in 2021 to faire le pont (do the bridge) by taking an extra day off on Friday to create a four-day weekend.

READ ALSO French expression of the day: Faire le pont

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Bison Futé has also warned against travel in or around France’s other major cities between 4pm  and 8pm, when heavy traffic could lead to jams.

It recommends: 

  • Avoiding travel, wherever possible, in Ile-de-France after 2pm;

  • Avoiding routes around France’s major cities between 4pm  and 8pm;

  • Avoiding the A13 between Paris and Rouen, from 4pm to 6pm;

  • Avoiding the A10 between Orléans and Tours, from 4pm to 7pm;

  • Avoiding the A7 between Salon-de-Provence and Marseille, from 4pm to 6pm;

  • Avoiding the A8 between Aix-en-Provence and Brignoles and from Cannes to Italy, from 4pm to 6pm;

  • Avoiding the A9 between Orange and Narbonne, from 4pm to 7pm;

  • Avoiding the A43 between Lyon and Chambéry, from 4pm to 7pm.

Bison Futé also issued advanced warning of traffic issues on Sunday, when many people will be heading back home. 

“Traffic will be very heavy on the A10, A6 and A13 motorways towards Ile-de-France, from early afternoon until late in the evening,” it said, adding that motorists should expect delays around motorway toll areas on Sunday.

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