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French roads clogged as summer holidays start ... but there is an app

Travellers can expect to spend some time stuck in traffic on Saturday
Travellers can expect to spend some time stuck in traffic on Saturday Garry Black/Getty Images

Saturday was set to be a grim day for motorists in France, with traffic jams starting at 7.30am near Paris and Marseille as the first wave of holidaymakers headed for the coast. Congestion was expected to be at its worst at 1.00pm. The national traffic monitors have launched an app to help drivers avoid the worst delays.

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The Bison Futé traffic monitor classed Saturday red, warning of delays on motorways heading south and towards the coast.

Roads to Spain and the Mediterranean were also expected to be clogged, with motorists from the Netherlands and Belgium, where holidays are also starting, adding to the numbers of vehicles travelling.

Already at 7.30am there were traffic jams near Valence on the A7 heading towards Marseille and on the A10 heading for Bordeaux.

By mid-morning there were more than 200km of traffic jams on France's roads.

There were 509km of traffic jams nationwide at 5.45pm on Friday, 320km of them in the Paris region.

That was less than the same time last year when there were 670km.

App to the rescue

Bison Futé, which predicts more heavy traffic on the traditional departure weekends of 14 and 30-31 July, has launched an app to help motorists avoid the worst of the jams.

It has classed Sunday orange in the Paris region.

More than 14,000 police officers will be on traffic duty this summer, hoping to bring down the number of deaths on the roads.

In the first quarter of 2016 they rose 1.9 percent compared to the same period in 2015 to 1,569, after having risen that year and the previous one.

The rail network expected 1.2 million passengers to travel this weekend and was to run 3,000 trains.

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