France: Big Freeze Causes Travel Disruption on Road and Rail

Environment | February 6, 2018, Tuesday // 15:21|  views

Източник: pixabay

Snowfall began to cause disruption on rail and roads in France on Tuesday as train services were hit and lorries were barred from the busiest roads in the Paris area.

At around 1pm authorities in the greater Paris region of Île-de-France raised the level of their "snow and ice plan" to "three" which meant HGVs were not allowed to circulate on the region's main arteries. Trucks either have to accept detours or stay off the road.

Police also warned motorists in the Paris region to avoid all unnecessary travel and Sanef, which runs motorways in the area urged drivers to stay clear of the autoroutes until Wednesday morning to avoid getting stuck.

Numerous departments across France suspended all school transport on Tuesday due to the dangerous driving conditions.

In Paris where snow was falling gently throughout Tuesday, the Eiffel Tower announced just before 1pm that it was closing to the public due to the weather conditions.

TGV trains were forced to cut their speed from 320km/h to between 220 km/h and 160 km/h in areas hit by snow causing delays of around 20 minutes on average on most services, according to SNCF

The lines affected were those which served the west as well as the high speed line to Strasbourg in the east.

Two TGVs that were supposed to link Paris and Bordeaux were cancelled on Tuesday due to the weather while passengers were also blocked on trains between Tours and Poitiers due to the impact of the freezing temperatures. 

In all, some 32 departments in France remained on alert on Tuesday afternoon for snow and ice (see map below).

The snow is set to get heavier throughout the afternoon with around 10cm forecast in the Paris area, although it could reach 20cm locally.

The snow did of course result in some spectacular photographs like these taken at the Palais de Versailles near Paris.

The cold snap marks a sharp contrast from the weeks of mild and rainy weather across northern France in recent weeks, prompting flooding in several
areas and pushing the Seine River to more than four metres above its normal levels as it flows through the capital.

That forced the closure of Paris station along a main RER commuter line, which will not be reopened until Saturday at the earliest.


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Tags: France, Paris, snow, snowstorm, Eiffel Tower, transport


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