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Will French strikes affect Rugby World Cup fans this weekend?

The Local France
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Will French strikes affect Rugby World Cup fans this weekend?
Rugby fans will be travelling this weekend for the World Cup quarter finals. Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

This weekend will see big games in the Rugby World Cup - but also a French strike. Here's how airline, train and Metro strikes will affect travelling fans.


This weekend all four quarter finals will be played in the Rugby World Cup, with two hosted in Marseille and two at the Stade de France, just outside Paris.

Saturday sees Wales take on Argentina at 5pm in Marseille, followed by Ireland v New Zealand in Paris at 9pm.

Then on Sunday England play Fiji at 5pm in Marseille, followed by France v South Africa at 9pm in Paris.

READ ALSO How to watch the Rugby World Cup in France

Which means that a lot of fans will probably be travelling to matches.

However on Friday, October 13th there is a nationwide, cross-sector strike in France which will affect planes, trains and city public transport.


Here's how it will affect fans; 


If you are intending to fly, you could face disruption as air traffic controllers walk out. However, the effects are limited to certain airports - 40 percent of flights in and out of Paris Orly will be cancelled, 20 percent in and out of Marseille-Provence airport and 15 percent in and out of Paris Beauvais.

Other airports - such as Paris Charles de Gaulle airport or Nice airport (just along the coast from Marseille) should be unaffected. 

The disruption affects flights taking off or landing between Thursday evening and Saturday morning - anyone with a flight booked to one of those three airports between those times should check with their airline.

Strikes can lead to knock-on disruption for the next few days, but as this one is reasonably limited it's likely that everything will be back to normal for return flights on Sunday or Monday. 

RER line B - which links Paris to its two airports - will be unaffected by strike action on Friday. 


If you plan to take the train, there may also be some disruption, but it is likely to be more limited.

French rail operator SNCF says that the high-speed TGV services (such as the Paris-Marseille link) will run a 'quasi normal' service on Friday. Local train routes on TER or Intercité lines may face some disruption.

The strike is a one-day one, so services on Saturday, Sunday and Monday should be normal.

Getting to the ground

The Stade de France is not technically in Paris, it's the suburb of Saint-Denis to the north - you can walk there from central Paris but it will take you almost two hours. Which is why most people use either the Metro or the RER suburban train service to get there.


Some staff on the Paris public transport operator RATP will walk out on Friday, but the operator says that Metro, bus and tram services should run as normal. Services will be normal on Saturday and Sunday for the match days. 

In Marseille the Vélodrome is within the city, but it's still about an hour's walk from the central Vieux Port area (including a very steep hill), so people generally use the Metro to get there.

City authorities say there will be no disruption on the Metro or tram on Friday, but there will be cancellations on municipal bus services. A normal service will return on Saturday and Sunday. Marseille is a compact city, so you can easily explore on foot if you are intending to make a weekend of it.  


Taxi and drivers for VTC services such as Uber are not taking part in the strike, so taxi services will be unaffected.

The strike is concentrated on transport so most of French life should continue as normal - bars, cafés and restaurants will be open - although some schools will close for the day while administrative services may also be unavailable.

If you're in a town or city on Friday, expect to see marches relating to the strike - which is calling for pay increases to help with the rising cost of living. 

You can find the latest strike updates HERE.

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