France snow: hundreds of flights cancelled, three die in road crashes

Drivers are urged to stay home if they can amid back ice and snow alerts in many areas

Up to 25% of flights are cancelled today at Paris-Orly because of snow and ice, which has caused the deaths of three people in road accidents in eastern France
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[Update December 14 at 15:45 - some departments have now been removed from the orange alert, but 19 remain on this level of warning. Read more:Latest: Snow and ice alerts continue for parts of northern France]

Air traffic is expected to be “severely disrupted” at Paris airports Charles de Gaulle and Orly today (December 14) with hundreds of flights cancelled.

Some 20% of flights originally scheduled to depart from Paris-Charles de Gaulle – 200 of 1,100 – have been cancelled and 25% of Orly flights – or about 100 – are also grounded, Aéroports de Paris has said.

Yesterday (December 13), the Direction générale de l’aviation civile warned that disruption was likely because of “snow showers forecast for the Paris region”.

Aéroports de Paris has warned that road access to the airports could be impacted by the weather.

Ile-de-France’s prefecture has called on people to limit their movements and to work from home where possible. If they cannot, they are encouraged to take public transport rather than driving.

Read more: Paris workers asked to work from home amid snow and ice alerts

The RN 118 road, which links Les Ulis (Essonne) to the south west of Paris has been completely closed, the prefecture states.

Anne Lavaud of the Prévention routière road safety organisation has told Franceinfo that people needing to go out today should “keep further away from other cars” and reduce their speed.

She said cyclists should choose a different transport method.

This comes as 33 departments in northern France, including Paris and its suburbs, are under an orange weather alert for snow and ice today.

Read more: Snow and ice alerts in place across most of northern France

Three deaths in road accidents caused by black ice

In Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, three people died in road accidents caused by black ice yesterday.

One accident took place 50km north of Bourg-en-Bresse (Ain) when a car hit a lorry. Another happened a few kilometres away when two lorry drivers collided head on.

No further information has yet been released.

Some roads in the area were closed to traffic as a precaution last night, including the A7 around Lyon. Gritters are passing through the area to make conditions safer.

Drivers urged to be cautious

Traffic forecasting service Bison Futé has urged drivers to keep informed about weather and traffic conditions before going out, and to postpone their journeys if the forecast is particularly bad on their route.

Several departments have announced that some bus services have been affected by the snow. For example, France Bleu reports that there are currently no buses running around Saint-Lô (Manche) and some services are suspended in Moselle.

In departments including Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, Moselle, Vosges and all of Normandy, there were no school buses running this morning, and in Ille-et-Vilaine, Morbihan and other Brittany departments there may have been some disruption.

In Ile-de-France and Hauts-de-France, restrictions have been put in place requiring lorries of over 7.5 tonnes to avoid the A16 north-south between junction A29/A16 and the department of Oise.

The same goes for the A1 north-south from junction A29/A1 to the RN 2 junction A26/RN2.

In Ile-de-France, vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes and containing dangerous substances are temporarily banned from driving on any of the region’s roads.

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