New UK-France air route, TGVs get a revamp: 8 French travel updates

Flat-rate rail move to turn into actuality subsequent summer season

A flat fee practice move for limitless journey may turn into a actuality as early as subsequent summer season.

President Macron mentioned that he was “very beneficial” for such a move throughout an interview with Youtuber HugoDecrypte and the thought acquired rapid assist from France’s Transport Minister Clément Beaune.

Mr Beaune, speaking to Télématin, has now said that whereas the move could be closely subsidised by the regional councils, it will be nationwide, “for everybody, all around the nation”.

“The concept is that anybody would be capable to use this move, no matter their age, to journey wherever for a flat fee, and hopefully with coordination from the bus and metro methods in massive cities,” he mentioned.

Negotiations between the varied areas and municipalities ought to start in September, with Mr Beaune hopeful {that a} deal may be reached earlier than subsequent summer season.

Whereas the minister couldn’t say precisely how a lot a flat fee rail move would value, he agreed {that a} value of round €49 per 30 days is reasonable, conceding that the areas must have their say on the worth. 

Nonetheless, what the areas say could not please the minister, with Franck Dhersin, vp of the Hauts-de-France area tweeting:

“The president usually has these actually intelligent concepts, however actually ought to cease having concepts about how areas ought to spend their cash.”

Learn additionally: Ways to save money on train travel in France 

See the TGV of the long run

The look of the fifth era of TGVs, known as the TGV M, that includes extra comfy seats, new inside lighting, and a higher capability for passengers have been revealed this week.

The trains will begin to seem from 2025 on the Paris – Lyon – Marseille route and are a part of a €3.5billion funding because the SNCF seeks to extend the capability of its rail fleet.

The inside design of the brand new carriages options blue and pink seats which have 5cm extra leg room and are “twice as comfy”.

The SNCF informed BFMTV that its new TGVs are “a second of emotion… fruit of 4 years’ work… a revolutionary jewel within the crown.” 

Alstom, the French practice producer, will produce 115 of the brand new TGVs, 100 of that are destined for the SNCF and 15 for different European operators.

There are presently 362 TGVs in France, so the acquisition of 100 new trains represents a big advance within the growth of high-speed rail.

Manoeuvrability assessments are presently underway, and the brand new trains must journey over a million kilometres earlier than they’ll start business operations.

Automobile-free day for Paris on September 17

Paris will go car-free for the ninth Paris Respire, or ‘Paris breathes’, day on September 17.

All the metropolis throughout the péripherique ring street might be closed to visitors aside from residents, who’re permitted to drive to and from their houses on presentation of their carte grise.

“Simply as final yr, the entire city might be reserved for non-polluting technique of transport reminiscent of bikes, curler skates, scooters and longboards,” mentioned mayor Anne Hidalgo. 

Public transport together with buses and taxis can even be permitted (together with emergency automobiles), however restricted to a high pace of 20km/h.

AirParif, liable for monitoring air high quality in Paris and its suburbs, says the car-free day final yr led to a 20% discount in nitrogen dioxide emissions together with “a decreased focus of PM10 and PM2.5 advantageous particles alongside Paris boulevards.”

Drivers caught out by the ban might be topic to a €135 advantageous.

The day falls in the course of the Journées européennes du patrimoine heritage weekend, which sees cultural centres and museums supply decreased costs or free entry and lots of different fascinating buildings, usually closed to the general public, open to go to. 

Along with the annual Paris Respire car-free day, the primary Sunday of every month can be car-free, albeit on a smaller scale overlaying the historic centre of Paris and the Champs-Élysées.

Learn extra: 

Plans finalised to ban cars from narrow streets of Montmartre in Paris 

Paris to go “car free” for a day

New Easyjet route between Southend and Grenoble

A brand new Easyjet route between London Southend and Grenoble is to start out on January 14, giving winter travellers a brand new solution to attain the Alps for costs ranging from €35.

Grenoble, in Isère, is near the Val-d’Isère, Tignes and Méribel winter resorts. 

The airport now has winter routes to Gatwick, Luton, Southend, Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester airports.

The brand new route will fly every Sunday, leaving Southend at 7:45, arriving in Grenoble at 10:15. The flights from Grenoble go away at 10.55, arriving at 11:35, together with the time distinction.

Transport strikes set to hit Rugby World Cup

A rising variety of staff’ unions within the transport sector have introduced their intention to strike in the course of the Rugby World Cup. The checklist consists of the RATP (Paris Metro), air visitors controllers and the Toulouse buses 

Employees from Toulouse bus and metro operator Tisseo, who went on strike on September 5 and once more on September 8, say they intend to make use of the Rugby World Cup as a method to advance their calls for and to “lastly” reach getting the eye of politicians.

The announcement may additional compound the more and more tense state of affairs created by the RATP (Paris Metro) and air visitors controller strikes.

Learn extra: French air traffic controllers call for a one-day strike in September 

Toulouse will host 5 matches in the course of the competitors, however entry to the stadium, which is within the metropolis centre, depends closely on public transport,and notably on the underground.

To date, Tisseo has confined the disruption in Toulouse to the Tram routes.

Paris – Berlin evening practice from December 12

The Paris – Berlin evening practice will return on December 12 following a 9 yr hiatus.

“The service will begin on  December 11 from Berlin, working thrice every week, and can turn into a each day service from October 2024”, mentioned a spokesperson for operator OBB to Agence France presse. The practice from Paris will go away the next day. 

The Vienna-based OBB operator runs evening trains throughout Europe underneath its Nightjet model. It already has a Paris – Vienna sleeper route with tickets from €29.40 for reclinable seats and as much as €371 for absolutely furnished luxurious cabins that embrace a double mattress, bathe, towels and slippers.

The Paris – Berlin practice will cease at Mannheim, Erfurt and Halle, on a journey lasting round ten hours.

The relaunch of the Paris – Berlin evening practice was introduced in 2020 as a part of the broader push to reintroduce evening trains, that are seen as a comparatively inexperienced technique of transport in contrast with air journey.

Learn extra: Paris-Nice night train restarts with PM onboard for first trip 

Costs for the brand new route have but to be introduced, and there may be nonetheless some dialogue ongoing as as to if the practice ought to undergo Sarrebruck or Strasbourg. Nonetheless, Transport Minister Clément Beaune informed Le Monde that the practice can even cease in Strasbourg as soon as the small print have been meted out, which he counsel might be no later than 2025.

Transport containers used to guard A43 from landslide

The large landslide within the valley of Maurienne in Savoie that lower off street and rail visitors on August 27 continues to be overlaying the rails, nonetheless the A43 is predicted to reopen this Saturday (September 9).

Learn extra: Watch: landslide closes major train route from France into Italy 

The motorway was closed resulting from issues for the integrity of its concrete assist pillars, together with the chance of additional landslides.

Inspection of the pillars established that they have been secure, and a wall of 60 transport containers stacked eight metres excessive has been constructed to safeguard the motorway from additional landslides as staff attempt to shore up the unfastened cliff face.

“Round 500 sandbags have been delivered by helicopter,” mentioned Alain Chabert, who’s main the hassle for SFTRF, the corporate that maintains the close by Fréjus tunnel. “We’ve additionally put skips crammed with rubble on departmental street 1006 to offer a second degree of safety.”

The wall of containers and the skips are more likely to stay for a number of months, throughout which period visitors on the A43 might be restricted to 1 lane in every course between Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne and Modane.

There is no such thing as a replace on when rail visitors will resume, a lot to the consternation of rail staff. The CGT rail staff union demanded that Mr Beaune present “a transparent evaluation of the injury to rail infrastructure”, “a timetable to start restore work” and “means to permit travellers and freight to journey domestically whereas the repairs occur”.

Mr Beaune has not given a date for the reopening of the rail hyperlink, which he informed France Bleu “will take time”. Nonetheless, he did announce one other measure to mitigate the disturbance to the stream of  visitors between Italy and France. 

The Mont Blanc tunnel, which had been scheduled to shut for repairs for 12 weeks from September 4, has needed to stay open to assist ease the congestion brought on by the closure of the A43. 

Whereas repairs to the tunnel are reportedly lengthy overdue, Mr Beaune says they won’t must final 12 weeks, seven ought to suffice. The minister added that the date of this potential closure might be introduced “within the subsequent few days”.

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