460km of traffic jams as Biden’s D-Day visit closes Paris ring road

Drivers frustrated at second day of road closures without warning around capital

Drivers were forced to look for alternative routes into the capital, forcing long delays. Photo for illustrative purposes only

Drivers around Paris faced huge traffic jams this morning, with several major roads around the capital closed to facilitate the visit of US president Joe Biden who is attending D-Day commemorations in Normandy.

The ‘Périphérique’ ring road that runs around the capital, as well as parts of the A6 and A106 were closed, alongside a key section of the A13 motorway that is currently undergoing repairs.

Read more: France’s A13 motorway to remain closed longer than expected

At its peak, traffic jams around the capital reached around 460km in length, nearly 150km more than average.

It was the second consecutive morning that roads were closed to accommodate the US president’s visit. Mr Biden and his wife are attending 80th anniversary commemorations for the D-Day landings in Normandy today (June 6).

He will then remain in France to conduct his first state visit since his inauguration.

“The aim [of road closures] was to facilitate the safe passage of the American convoy,” which included the president’s vehicle, Paris police prefecture said. 

In addition, public transport including part of the city’s tramlines were closed as the president’s convoy passed. Bin collections were also put on hold as part of wider safety measures.

Drivers frustrated by closures

The closure of these roads were not announced in advance on either day, much to the chagrin of commuters trying to enter Paris. 

Closures were kept secret as part of wider security measures, however this led to blockages on smaller roads entering the capital, with many drivers scrambling to find alternative routes to get to work.

“There's nowhere to go, I'm driving along the ring road but it's a mess,” one driver told BFMTV

Others took to social media to voice their anger, with one driver questioning the “level of contempt” of authorities for not informing drivers in advance of closures. 

“I know it's for a good cause, but would it cost anything to warn us to avoid getting stuck?” said another. 

All roads were reopened by 10:00 (except part of the A13 undergoing repair work), but by this point many drivers had sat in traffic for hours attempting to get to work. 

Read more: PHOTOS: 48 American veterans land in France for D-Day commemorations