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Over 400km of traffic jams on third French holiday weekend
There were over 400 kilometres of traffic jams on French roads at midday Saturday as holiday makers headed south. A strike in part of Air France led to one-third of its flights being cancelled. Traffic in Paris will be disrupted Sunday by the arrival of the Tour de France.
French holiday-makers headed south on the third weekend of heavy traffic of this summer with drivers from the rest of Europe swelling their ranks.
There were 409 kilometres of traffic jams at 12.30 pm, higher than last weekend’s 319 kilometres, but traffic eased off by 2.00 pm, according to traffic monitors.
The A6 motorway heading to the Mediterranean from Paris and the north and the A7 in the Rhône valley were the worst hit.
Transport officials on the Mediterranean coast warned drivers to be “particularly careful and vigilant” because of the risk of wild fires “in a particularly unfavourable meteorological situation”.
Railway stations were also packed. The rail company SNCF was expected to transport over a million passengers on 2,200 TGV high-speed trains.
A strike at Air France subsidiary Regional has meant that a third of its 200-odd flights have been cancelled and a similar number are expected to be scrapped on Sunday.
The centre of Paris should prove difficult to negotiate on Sunday, too.
Tour de France cyclists are set to arrive for their final ride down the Champs Elysées and the pomp of the closing ceremony.