Traffic jams predicted in heatwave-hit France this weekend

Nice when you get there ... holidaymakers on the beach at Cagnes-sur-Mer
Nice when you get there ... holidaymakers on the beach at Cagnes-sur-Mer Reuters/Eric Gaillard

France’s roads will be clogged this weekend as British holidaymakers are expected to join French motorists heading south. Temperatures will be in the upper 30s centigrade in the region that the busiest motorway passes through, while storms are predicted elsewhere.


Traffic monitors have issued a red alert for motorists heading south onSaturday with the number of British tourists expected to rise thanks to the beginning of UK school holidays this week.

Interactive map of France


The heaviest traffic likely to be on the A6 motorway from Paris to Lyon and the A7 that continues through the Rhone valley, one of two departments that are also on heatwave alert.

With temperatures in the Rhone valley and the Isère to its east already over 35°C on Friday afternoon, the thermometer is expected to keep rising, hitting a peak on Saturday.

Continuing storms are forecast in the Ile de France region around Paris and 12 other departments, including Charente, Dordogne and Indre-et-Loire.

A red alert for heavy traffic has also been issued for roads heading north in the southern half of the country.

Officials in the Rhone department called on motorists to take extra care, pointing out that deaths on the roads reach a high point in July and August.

In 2012 13 people died in road accidents in the department in July and August, a quarter of the year’s total.

Five have already been killed since the beginning of July this year.

Officials also advise travellers to drink plenty of water.

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