French road traffic laws are changing to make it compulsory for motorists to carry both a warning triangle and a reflective jacket in the vehicle at all times (and a set of bulbs). Now the AA reports:-
A law concerning the compulsory carrying of a reflective jacket (EN471) and a warning triangle (ECE R27) in France came into force on 1st July 2008. However, this regulation will not be enforceable with on-the-spot fines until 1st October 2008, when the fine will be between €90 and €135.
The French Road Safety Department has today confirmed that:
From 1st October 2008 all drivers in France, including drivers of vehicles registered outside of France, must have one warning triangle and one reflective jacket in their vehicle.
We have arranged with RAYMAC a special offer of a WARNING TRIANGLE + A HI-VISIBILITY VEST FOR JUST £9.99 PLUS VAT AND DELIVERY (usual price for the Warning Triangle alone is over £10) - CLICK HERE FOR THIS SPECIAL OFFER
a few years ago there are now 2 major alternative autoroutes to the notorious
A6 via Lyon to the southern parts of France. The scale of French investment
in roads is impressive, and despite much of the network (but not all)
being on tolls, the saving in time and potential road rage is well worthwhile
for those in a hurry or with children. The other benefit is for those
of us who prefer to potter through the towns the old N road is now less
congested and more enjoyable.
For the South West the A20 ia now complete linking Paris
and Toulouse via the A10 to Orleans, then the A71 to Vierzon onto the
A20 for Toulouse via Limoges, Brive, Cahors and Montauban. This is a
very enjoyable road cutting through some glorious scenery - and such
a joy for those who used to struggle on the old N20. Cahors is now less
than 7hrs from Calais - although you will have to pay about €42 (£35)in
tolls (2008 figures),
For those heading to the Languedoc the A75 is now almost complete, and
importantly the traditional bottleneck of Millau is now bypassed by the
spectacular Viaduc de Millau over the Valley of the River Tarn, designed
by Sir Norman Foster and the highest bridge piers in the world ( 240m
high). I have driven over it and is beautiful, elegant and breathtaking
- worth a detour for. (Look at some stunning images of the bridge at www.viaducdemillau.com.
It measures 1125 ft. at its tallest point (62 ft. taller than the Eiffel Tower)
and spans a length of 1.5 miles. It is estimated that it would take
7.4 seconds for a bottle of wine to hit the ground
if dropped from the bridge's deck.
LATEST - Richard
Binns, the knowledgeable francophile and author of numerous guide books
to France (French Leave, Hidden France, Bon Voyage) has a small booklet
on a new route to the South of France using the Viaduc de Millau -
called "Sun Run Supreme". The 665-mile SRS from Calais provides two
alternatives: a fast run south (over 80% on autoroutes and dual-carriageways);
or a lazy amble. You can select from three cost options: ‘toll-free’; ‘almost free’;
or ‘frugal’ (about £15).
The arrow-like run is the most direct route to
the Med. The final 170 miles, often over 3,600ft-high, is an exhilarating
Many GPS Satellite Navigation systems include European maps either as standard or as an add-on. This can be an invaluable aid when trying to navigate through French towns and cities with their idiosyncratic signs and one-way systems.
The autoroute A75 (le Méridienne) now links Paris and Beziers via the A10
to Orleans, then the A71 to Clermont-Ferrand, Millau and Pezenas through
the heart of the Massif Central. Again the journey, particularly south
of Clermont-Ferrand is wonderful - through the Volcanic region of le
Puy and then through the Massif Central and down into the Haut Languedoc.
Calais - Pezenas in about 9 hours with tolls of €55 (£37)
in 2005. The "aire" and visitor centre at the northern end
of the Bridge is
incomplete, and only open to southbound traffice at the moment. There
is another viewing area accessible from Millau town off the D992 towards
St Georges-de-Luzenon. However, the A75 has no tolls throughout its length
(from Clermont Ferrand south) - although you do have to pay a small toll
to cross the Millau bridge.
The autoroute section from Pezenas to Beziers is still under construction and will link directly onto the A9 autoroute down to Spain - due for completion in 2010.
Other new routes:-
SW France - A89 Bordeaux
to Clermont-Ferrandand Lyon - now virtually complete except for a short section between the A20 north of Brive and the eastward autoroute towards Clermont Ferrand. Eventually there will be a new section which will link direct to Lyon from Clermont Ferrand, avoiding the dogleg via St Etienne CLICK HERE
Northern France - A29 Amiens to Neufchâtel which
links Lille, Calais with Le Havre, Rouen, Caen, Normandy and Brittany CLICK
HERE FOR MAP
Loire Valley - A87 Les Essarts to La Roche-sur-Yon -
a new link from the Loire through to the Vendée CLICK HERE FOR MAP
Loire Valley - A85 links Bourges and the A71 to Tours (for the A10 and Bordeaux) and Angers (for the A11 and Nantes)
Normandy - A28 from Rouen to Alençon - opened in October 2005 and with the stretch from Le Mans to Alencon
already open this will make a fast route south from Caen and Le Havre. see
- A28 from Le Mans to Tours - where it connects with the A10 autoroute
to Bordeaux - opened in December 2005 - completing the route
from the channel ports, Calais, Boulogne,Dieppe,Le Havre, Caen to western
France and the Loire without going anywhere near Paris which has to be
www.viamichelin.co.uk - great
journey planning site for France and the rest of Europe - calculates
times, toll fees - even tells you where the speed cameras are!
"Wise Bison" - a useful French road site (in English) , which warns you of potential
heavy traffic periods (such as those busy summer weekends when half of
France is heading south whilst the other half is heading north) - but
also has details of the "Itineraires Bis" - i.e. alternative routes which
are often delightful and well-signposted (green Itineraire Bis" signs).