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Rail strike hits holiday travel

Weekend train services in south of France will be disrupted, while motorists are warned to expect major delays

RAIL travel in parts of the south of France will be disrupted over the three-day weekend after SNCF staff voted in favour of strike action, starting at 3pm today.

RTL Radio this morning reported that one train in two will run on the Marseille-Toulon, Avignon-Lyon and Marseille-Aix-en-Provence lines.

Only one-train in three will between Marseille and Avignon, while only a quarter of services will run between Marseille and Miramas.

SNCF said that all other services are expected to run normally.

Train operator SNCF has said it will operate a coaches in affected areas during the strike period, which is due to finish on Monday at 6pm.

But it advised travellers to check whether trains were still running by logging on to the website or by telephoning 0800 11 40 23.

The rail strike comes on another busy weekend of travel in France. Traffic monitor Bison Futé has warned motorists to expect heavy traffic on main routes across the whole of the country - and has black-flagged roads along the Mediterranean coast tomorrow.

It predicted long tailbacks on the A9, and advised motorists to avoid travelling on main routes between 10am and 3pm if possible.

It said traffic flow today would be reasonable, but still warned that drivers should avoid the A9 between Montpellier and Nimes and the A7 between Lancon-Provence and Lyon between 10am and 20pm.

Sunday is set to be the easiest day on the roads, except along the Mediterranean coast.

Last weekend, Bison Futé recorded 994km of tailbacks at one point on main roads in France - equal to a single traffic jam from Lille to Biarritz.

Photo: Ingolf

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