What disruption for drivers in France during the Paris 2024 Olympics?

From special lanes on key roads to parking changes, we look at the restrictions planned for next summer’s sporting extravaganza

Driving on some roads may be extremely difficult during the Paris Olympics
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Mayor Anne Hidalgo has warned drivers “it will be very complicated” to travel in Paris during next year’s Olympic Games.

Here we look at the restrictions planned for next summer.

Special lanes on key roads

One lane on parts of the A1 (between Paris and Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport) and the A13 (both directions of the road that heads west out of Paris towards Normandy) will be inaccessible to most vehicles.

This will also be the case for one lane on around three-quarters of the Paris ring road itself, and some roads inside the city will also be designated as special Olympic lanes.

All in all, 185km of roads and lanes in and around the capital will be designated as Olympic roads and face restrictions, to help facilitate access for those working at and attending the Games.

Only athletes, event organisers, public transport vehicles, taxis, disability card holders and emergency/service vehicles will be able to use the lanes.

Some of these special lanes – specifically those on the A1 and A13 – will remain in place after the Olympics, and be kept as specific car-sharing/taxi/public transport-only lanes.

Designated Olympic lanes in Paris and on the Parisian ring road, however, will revert back after the games.

France’s transport minister Clément Beaune said it will be one of the “legacies” of the Games to the city.

Those who live – or have businesses on – the roads affected have been promised they will still be able to access their properties, however.

The full list of which roads are to be affected will be announced in September by the Olympic Committee.

Read more: Paris 2024: Olympic flame’s route through France is revealed

Road sign changes

At the end of July, an official order was passed that will allow the capital to temporarily change the look of road signs during the Olympics.

Alongside markings on the floor (to designate the special Olympic lanes), road signs will give drivers an indication of what roads are off-limits,

Permanent changes to road structure - the legacy car-sharing lanes, for example - will see new, classic blue road signs put up.

Temporary changes will be notified by temporary black and white road signs.

You can find a full list of the changes on the official government site here.

Parking restrictions

Parking spaces are set to be either completely closed or temporarily off-limits while they are used for the Paris 2024.

This is the case for the Stade de France, for example. Additionally, parking not just belonging to the stadium itself, but also nearby spaces outside the stadium, will be off-limits.

Parking spaces at or near the sites in central Paris (Trocadéro, Invalides, Bercy, etc) and areas in Versailles will also see parking spots kept free for the duration of the Olympics.

Streets hosting sections of open-air events like the marathon and triathlon events will also see car parking spots unusable before during the races – just as when the Tour de France comes through the city.

Public transport drive

Paris 2024 is seeking to be the first Olympic Games where 100% of spectators visit the event locations via public transport

To achieve this, the Olympic Committee is looking at increasing public transport available during the sporting extravaganza.

Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM) has already confirmed that for the duration of the Olympics, public transport services will be increased by 15%, bringing them up to peak service levels (usually in summer services run a reduced service).

They have also hired an extra 1,400 bus drivers – and have an ongoing recruitment drive for hundreds of additional positions – to improve services for the Games.

Almost one-in-five bus services this summer have seen issues, according to France3, but the RATP (who run Paris’ public transport services) said this is due to works taking place around the capital in preparation for the Olympics next year.

The rush to finish these works – negatively impacting journeys this summer – will ensure there are no problems during next summer, the RATP said.

One sticking point, however, is that there may not be enough drivers (of buses, metros, or trains) to run all of the proposed services.

IDFM and the RATP face an uphill struggle in convincing drivers (especially those with children) who usually take holidays during the July – September period to postpone their holidays until after the Games, to ensure services run smoothly.

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