Traffic jams French motorways on worst day of summer for travel
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Road travel in France was expected to be "exceptionally difficult" on Saturday as holidaymakers left the cities to head for the sunny south. Traffic was already at a standstill on several motorways at 9.30am.
"Saturday 29 July will be one of the most difficult of summer 2017," traffic monitor Bison Futé warned.
It classified the day black on routes heading south from Paris and west from Marseille and orange in the opposite direction.
At midday 490 kilometres of traffic jams were reported, comparied to 590km at the same time last year.
The situation was "a bit less complicated than expected", officials said, although it was expected to be at its worst at about 1.30pm.
There were already "major difficulties" at 9.30am, the organisation reported, especially on the A7 between Lyon and Marseille, where drones were used for the first time to watch the road and keep motorists informed.
The journey from Lyon to Orange took three hours 45 minutes insteand of the usueal one hour 35 minutes.
A 20-kilometre traffic jam blocked motorists heading for Spain on the A9 between Montpellier and Carcassonne and there was a similar one on the A10 between Tours and Bordeaux.
There were also traffic jams on the A75 south of Clermont-Ferrand and Bison Futé advised drivers not to take the A8 in Provence, the N165 in Brittany and the ringroads of Rennes and Nantes, in western France.
Sunday is classed orange going south and green heading north, except in the Auvergne, Rhône valley adn the Alps and along the Mediterranean coast.
You can get up-to-the-minute traffic information from the map on Bison Futé's website.
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