Yesterday, I had planned to visit a local festival however I made a big mistake and forgot to check the train timetables and updates before we left home. We arrived at the station and found that only one in every four trains were still scheduled.
Our train was delayed 45 minutes, then subsequently cancelled, and the next train was another 1 hour wait. Our plans were quickly scuppered, not to mention our patience.
If you are traveling by bus, train, airplane, car it pays to be aware that there can be frequent strikes by French transport workers so check ahead if you can to save yourself time, money and frustration. Another thing to note is that public transport has reduced schedules on bank holidays, so allow extra time for traveling and double-check attractions or activities will be open.
A few words you may see related to strikes and travel disruptions:
Grève / un movement social = strike / industrial action
Perturbation = disruption
Retard = delay
Bouchon / Embouteillage = traffic jam
Éboulement = road block due to collapse (e.g. cliff, rockfall). Also effrondrement (block due to collapse/subsidence) and coulée de boue (mudslip)
Réfection de la chaussée = repairing road surface
Supprimer/annulation = to cancel / cancellation
Here are some sites you may find helpful for travel planning on the Cote d’Azur (French Riviera):
– http://www.bison-fute.gouv.fr/ A French website detailing major road works, main closures or highway disruptions. They have a calendar of peak travel congestion (handy for travel planning during French school holidays which have different dates according to regions), and regular updates by department (area) in France.
– http://www.infolignes.com/previsions.php?zoneId=3&zoneName=Sud-Est Train updates from SNCF (French national rail) including line works and strikes.
– http://www.nicematin.com/t/Ligne-d’Azur Useful local news website with links to updates on bus strikes.
– www.easytravelreport.com A great website initiative from Penny Ciocchi for global transport strikes. Very helpful for advice regarding strikes at Nice Airport including strikes by air traffic controllers and ground workers. Also, covers Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Paris metro.
– http://english.controleradar.org/provence-riviera-speed-cameras.php Map and information on the location of speed cameras in the region.
– www.viamichelin.com One of my favourite sites for estimated driving times and costs – particularly good for fuel estimates and costs of tolls in France. Add 10%-15% time buffer to the travel times given as does not take into account stopping at traffic lights, major congestion etc
I hope these links will help you during your visits to this region. If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them.