Hottest days ahead in France's record-setting heatwave

Marseille introduces its first-ever Crit'Air sticker car ban as temperatures continue to rise across France, with little respite in store until next week

Marseille has become the fifth city in France to ban the most polluting vehicles in a bid to combat air pollution during late June's record-breaking heatwave - with little respite forecast until next week.

Vehicles with Crit'Air 4 or 5 stickers will not be allowed to enter main areas of the city on Thursday in a bid to reduce levels of fine particulates in the atmosphere.

It is the first time motorists in the city have faced this type of traffic restriction.

Cars - even those from other countries - must display Crit’Air stickers (or proof of purchase for a sticker that has not yet arrived) clearly behind their windscreen to drive in the 25-plus French cities that have taken up the system of traffic control.

Anyone found breaking the rules can be fined €45-90 per vehicle, and risks having their vehicle taken away. During periods of high pollution, city authorities can ban vehicles based on the number of the sticker on the windscreen.

Paris, Lyon, Annecy and Strasbourg have already banned the worst-polluting vehicles. In the capital on Wednesday, only vehicles with a Crit’Air rating of 0-2 were permitted.

Wednesday saw a number of temperature records broken in France - with figures of 41.1C in Montclus (Gard), 40.6C in Peyrolles en Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), 40C in Apt (Vaucluse) and 40.9C in Clermont-Ferrand - and there was little overnight respite from the heat.

The highest temperature recorded in France was 44.1C in Saint-Christol-lès-Alès and Conqueyrac, in the Gard, on August 12, 2003. For the full list of heatwave records, click here

A total 78 departments were placed on orange heatwave alert on Thursday by national forecaster Meteo-France. Temperatures south of the Loire are expected to hit peaks of between 38C and 41C in the afternoon, and 33C to 37C further north in areas where the weather alert is in place.

Meteo-France warned temperatures would remain high overnight into Friday, before rising to a maximum of between 42C and 44C in the lower Rhône valley on Friday afternoon.

Saturday will be the hottest day for the Paris region, with temperatures of between 38C and 40C forecast.

Temperatures will then start to dip again, but are expected to remain above seasonal norms next week.

The departments affected by the Meteo-France's weather alert issued on Thursday morning are: Ain (01), Allier (03), Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04), Hautes-Alpes (05), Alpes-Maritimes (06), Ardèche (07), Ardennes (08), Ariège (09), Aube (10), Aude (11), Aveyron (12), Bouches-du-Rhône (13), Cantal (15), Charente (16), Charente-Maritime (17), Cher (18), Corrèze (19), Corse-du-Sud (2A), Haute-Corse (2B), Côte-d'Or (21), Creuse (23), Dordogne (24), Doubs (25), Drôme (26), Eure-et-Loir (28), Gard (30), Haute-Garonne (31), Gers (32), Hérault (34), Ille-et-Vilaine (35), Indre (36), Indre-et-Loire (37), Isère (38), Jura (39), Loir-et-Cher (41), Loire (42), Haute-Loire (43), Loire-Atlantique (44), Loiret (45), Lot (46), Lot-et-Garonne (47), Lozère (48), Maine-et-Loire (49), Marne (51), Haute-Marne (52), Mayenne (53), Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Meuse (55), Moselle (57), Nièvre (58), Puy-de-Dôme (63), Bas-Rhin (67), Haut-Rhin (68), Rhône (69), Haute-Saône (70), Saône-et-Loire (71), Sarthe (72), Savoie (73), Haute-Savoie (74), Paris (75), Seine-et-Marne (77), Yvelines (78), Deux-Sèvres (79), Tarn (81), Tarn-et-Garonne (82), Var (83), Vaucluse (84), Vendée (85), Vienne (86), Haute-Vienne (87), Vosges (88), Yonne (89), Territoire-de-Belfort (90), Essonne (91), Hauts-de-Seine (92), Seine-Saint-Denis (93), Val-de-Marne (94), Val-d'Oise (95).

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