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Traffic clogs French roads as summer holidays begin

Sunbathing in People Colleville-Montgomery, north-western France, on Friday
Sunbathing in People Colleville-Montgomery, north-western France, on Friday AFP

Traffic jams clogged French motorways on Saturday as the temperature soared to 27-33°C, as families left the cities on the first weekend of school summer holidays and tourists headed for the Mediterranean.


Traffic was particularly heavy in the Paris region and on the A6 and A7 motorways heading south to Marseille.

The Bison Futé traffic monitor warned of "numerous difficulties" and the map at 11.30am bore out the warning.

Motorways heading to Bordeaux, the south-west and Spain were also packed with vehicles.

With nearly a million people expected to take the train, the rail network was also expecting problems, due to the ongoing strike by workers fighting the effects of the government's reform of the SNCF company.

Weather-forecasters predicted temperatures of 27-31°C for most of the country, with 33°C in parts of the south-west and the lower Rhone valley.

Temperatures will remain high on Sunday but the traffic should ease up, apart from on the A7 in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region.

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