Highest-level warning for traffic on French roads this weekend

Driving away on holiday this weekend? Here are the roads to avoid

A view of a traffic jam on a road
Roads are set to be the busiest of the entire summer this Saturday
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Drivers in France are warned that the roads this weekend will be “the most difficult of the summer” as people leave the cities and head to the coasts.

Traffic monitoring service Bison Futé has issued its highest ‘black’ alert for departures - traffic leaving urban centres and heading towards tourist destinations - on Saturday (August 5). There is a red warning - the second highest level - in place for Friday (August 4).

It stated: “From Friday, traffic will be dense and often very difficult across the entire country. Saturday will be the most difficult day of the summer on most of the main routes.”

This weekend is often the worst of the summer due to it being a ‘crossover’ (chassé-croisé) when people who went on holiday in July (‘juillettistes’) return and those who are departing in August (‘aoûtiens’) head off.

However, traffic in the returning direction (away from tourist destinations and back towards urban centres), will be easier, if still busy. Both Friday and Saturday are on ‘orange’ alert (one down from red).

Sunday (August 6) will be ‘orange’ in the departure direction and ‘green’ (the lowest level) in the returning direction.

However, roads are expected to be busy again on Monday (August 7) with an ‘orange’ alert nationally, and a ‘red’ alert for the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, in the departure direction.

Some of the busiest roads are expected to be:

  • Friday, August 4: Ile-de-France A10, A6. Motorways A7, A31, and A63. Mont-Blanc tunnel. Roads near the Mediterranean coast.
  • Saturday, August 5: The motorways A7, A9, A10, A61, A71 and A75. A43 in the Lyon-Chambéry direction. N205 and Mont-Blanc tunnel to and from Italy. A75 between Montpellier and Clermont-Ferrand.
  • Sunday, August 6: A10 around Bordeaux. A7 between Lyon and Orange.
  • Monday, August 7: A9 and A10. A7 in the Rhône-Alpes Auvergne region between Lyon and Orange. N205 and access to the Mont-Blanc tunnel towards Italy.

A full list, in French, of the precise advice for each road can be seen on the Bison Futé website here.

Traffic is expected to return to normal on Tuesday (August 8).

Drivers can monitor the roads in real-time and consult Bison Futé forecasts on the service’s official app on iPhone and Android.