The Official Guide

Most Beautiful Villages in France book

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Official Guide to the Most Beautiful Villages of France

The Official Guide

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On the road in France

90 kph signSome reminders that August is the peak month for traffic on France’s roads and autoroutes.

The authorities in France have a colour-coded system to signify traffic density, and for traffic heading away from the Paris region and towards the coast and mountains

ORANGE = dense traffic with local jams

RED = very dense traffic with many traffic jams (bouchons)

BLACK = the worst – extremely heavy traffic with many traffic jams on all routes.

FRIDAY 31 July 2009 is RED

SATURDAY 1 August 2009 is BLACK

SUNDAY 2 August is ORANGE, except for the South East (Rhone-Alpes region around Lyon) which is RED

Returning traffic is RED most Saturdays in August.

However, helpfully most roadworks are suspended over the weekends between mid-July and the end of August – so the problems will be due to sheer volume of traffic.

itineraire BISA good map is always useful, but also consider using France’s network of Alternative Routes (itineraire bis) which cover large areas of France and will take you on decent N roads and avoid the worst bottlenecks.

And also beware that some autoroute toll charges (péage) are higher in peak periods than at other times – e.g. on August Sunday afternoons heading towards Paris!

For more info on traffic conditions in France see

New Speed Limits for Caravans and trailers in France:-
The new speed limits for a car and caravan or trailer with combined gross weight over 3.5 tonnes and are 90kph on motorways and dual carriageways, 80kph on ordinary roads and the standard 50kph in towns.

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