Traffic clogs France's roads and rail as holidays start for some, end for others
Holiday traffic is expected to clog France’s roads this weekend and railway stations and airports are prepared to shift hundreds of thousands of passengers. There were 265 kilometres of traffic jams on Saturday morning.
The Rhone valley saw the heaviest traffic as July holiday-makers returned northwards and the August crowd headed south.
Traffic jams were expected to be at their worst at about 1pm but were reported to be less serious than last weekend on Saturday morning.
The worst-affected roads were the A6 and A7 motorways with the journey from Lyon, the gateway to the south, and the Provence town of Orange taking three hours 15 minutes instead of the usual one hour 50 minutes.
There were also traffic jams between Perpignan in the south-west and Spain and between Tours and Bordeaux.
The Bison futé traffic watch service predicted heavier traffic than usual heading for Calais because of the Olympics.
Paris’s airports were expecting 920,000 passengers, while the rail network had 1.2 million booked and ready to go.
Paris’s Gare de Lyon and Montparnasse stations expected 252,000 and 242,000 passengers respectively.
The next heavy traffic weekend is set to be 15 August.