Roads to avoid this weekend, ferry deal: 7 French travel updates

We also cover the partial reopening of the A13 motorway and a warning to carry ID when travelling by train in France

Travel news this week includes busy roads, a rise in bus fares during the Olympics, ferry deals and a warning to carry ID on trains
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This week in travel news we covered UK government ministers being told UK/France border plans were “completely unsatisfactory” and French drivers confessing their bad habits.

We also reported on the Channel Tunnel turning 30, how to avoid traffic jams on French roads this weekend, and work finally starting on a new high-speed train line between Bordeaux and Toulouse

Here are more travel updates affecting France. 

Road travel updates

Traffic congestion warning this weekend 

France’s official traffic monitoring site, Bison Futé, has warned roads will be heavily congested this weekend – especially on Sunday (May 12) – as many people make their way home after extending their time off during this week’s public holidays . 

It has put the whole country on a red warning for heavy traffic on Sunday, while the north-west of the country is on a black warning for extremely busy roads. 

It warns there will be traffic jams on all major routes into large cities. 

The busiest areas are expected to be:

  • The N165 on the Atlantic coast

  • The A84 and A13 in the Normandy region

  • The A7 and N205 in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes 

  • The A9 and A61 on the Mediterranean coast 

  • The A10, A6 and A13 motorways in the Île-de-France

Closed section of A13 motorway to partially reopen on Friday 

The A13 motorway connecting Paris and Normandy is due to reopen on Friday, May 10. 

The road, which runs between Vaucresson in the Hauts-de-Seine and the French capital was closed on April 18 after cracks were reported on the Saint-Cloud bridge. 

Read more: Reopening of France’s A13 motorway delayed as new cracks discovered

Friday’s reopening is only partial, however. The road will reopen as a single carriageway, only in the direction towards Paris and only for light vehicles. 

In a press release, the Hauts-de-Seine prefecture said it hoped to reopen the other direction in June. 

Price of bus ticket to rise to €5 during Paris Olympics 

Travellers in Paris will have to pay €5 for tickets bought on board buses during the Paris Olympics and Paralympics from July 20 to September 8, the Association of Transport Users highlighted this week. 

Paris’ transport authorities confirmed the price rise and said travellers would receive two €2.50 tickets and would have to validate both. 

The price hike will help pay for transport reinforcements needed to cope with the influx of visitors during the Paris Games. 

Read more: Olympic torch arrives in Marseille: see its route on tour of France

Some savvy passengers can avoid paying the raised fee, however. 

If you live in the Île-de-France region you can subscribe to Navigo’s Liberté+ loyalty card – this can be done online – and you can load tickets directly onto the card, for the price of €1.73 per journey.

Other alternatives include a subscription-free card called the Navigo Easy, which can have tickets loaded in advance and is used the same way as a normal Navigo pass. 

These can be purchased in advance before the price, either at a ticket machine in the capital or through certain phones. They can be used on buses, metros, and RER services in the city.

Rail travel updates

Do not forget to carry ID with you when taking the train in France

A TGV passenger ended up being taken to a police station after refusing to pay a fine for forgetting her ID card, French papers reported this week. 

It is the latest example of rail operator SNCF showing little leniency to those who forget their ID, no matter what the reason.

The woman had left her ID at her parents house, and despite having her season ticket and a photocopy of her ID, was fined – €120 if she paid on the spot or €170 if she chose to pay later. 

She refused to pay, and was met by transport police in Paris, who took her to a police station. 

Read more: Train e-ticket travellers fined in France for not carrying ID

SNCF told local paper La Voix du Nord that only official ID documents in their physical form are an acceptable form of ID. 

For foreigners travelling on French trains, a passport is a valid form of ID when travelling on SNCF services. 

Air travel updates

EasyJet to offer package deals from UK to Corsica 

Budget airline easyJet has added the French island of Corsica to its package holiday options from the UK. 

The airline is offering seven nights from £522 per person, flying from London Gatwick Airport. 

EasyJet flies to Bastia, Calvi and Figaro on the Mediterranean island. 

Read more: Macron proposes step towards some autonomy for Corsica

Plane forced to turnaround four hours into Paris-Mexico trip 

An Airbus flight between Paris and Mexico City was forced to turn back this Wednesday (May 8) more than four hours into the journey, after technical issues with the plane were discovered. 

The Air France flight, carrying 260 passengers, was near the coast of Canada when it was forced to turn back around, taking more than five hours to return to the French capital. 

The technical failures – which have not yet been disclosed – meant the plane could not have been repaired in Mexico, forcing the turnaround. 

An Air France spokesperson said passengers were given help finding accommodation and alternative travel arrangements after the flight landed in Paris.

Ferry travel updates 

Brittany Ferries – save up to 30% on sailings when you book a holiday 

Travellers can save up to 30% on ferry crossings when they book a holiday through Brittany Ferries this summer. 

Accommodation options range from country cottages to chalets, campsites and hotels. 

Book online, where you can check out the different holiday options.