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Paris ringroad blocked by protesting driving instructors

Another day, another protest - taxi drivers at Porte Maillot in Paris in January
Another day, another protest - taxi drivers at Porte Maillot in Paris in January AFP

A large swathe of the Paris ringroad was blocked on Monday morning by a drive-slow protest by driving instructors who want a reform of the driving test to be postponed, even though they say they agree with it. The measure aims to reduce waiting times to take the test to 45 days, half the current average.

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Traffice was reduced to a crawl on the north of the Paris périphérique as commuters headed to work on Monday as cars from driving schools staged their protest.

There were demonstrations outside the capital, too, notably in the central city of Lyon, Toulouse in the south-west and Angers in the west, as well as in France's overseas territories.

Only one of France's three professional groups for driving schools, the CNPA, called the protests.

Although the organisation said it was "quite satisfied" with the changes, it is calling for "improvements" in the way it is to be put into practise and accuses the government of being overhasty in its implementation.

Drivers have to wait as long as six months to take the driving test in some parts of France and the average wait is 90 days.

The reform aims to cut the wait by half.

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