top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

More travel misery in France as pension strikes go on

Rail and public transport services badly hit on Monday ahead of another day of mass protest on Tuesday

Commuters struggled into work on Monday as strikes in protest at the government's planned pension reforms again crippled rail services - ahead of another day of mass protest on Tuesday.

Across France, an estimated 15% to 20% of normal rail services were operating on Monday.

In Paris, public transport operator RATP had warned commuters to only use suburban RER and Transilien services if absolutely necessary, and called on commuters not to travel if at all possible to avoid overcrowding on platforms and in trains. A total 10 metro lines remained closed during the rush hour while another four were running reduced services, and 50% of buses and trams were set to operate - though a blockade at seven of the 25 bus depots in the capital meant further bus services were disrupted.

Many thousands of people took to their cars to get into work. At 8am, traffic monitors in Ile de France reported more than 600km of traffic jams, double the normal amount at that time, despite the opening of bus and taxi lanes to any car with three or more occupants on Francilien routes heading into Paris. This measure does not apply in the capital.

There is no respite in store for the government. Unions have called for another day of mass protests against pension reform on Tuesday, a day before Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is set to reveal more details of the reforms.

The Interior Ministry said about 800,000 demonstrators joined nearly 250 marches on Thursday, but the CGT union put the number of protesters at around 1.5 million - still well below the 2.5million who took to the streets when then-President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Prime Minister Francois Fillon tried to increase the pension age in 2010.

Between 40% and 50% of teachers and education sector workers joined Thursday's strike according to the Education Ministry - while the rail unions' walkout meant 90% of trains were cancelled.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now