This months newsletter from Motorhoming France:

FRENCH ROADS IN MAY

Bison Fute predicts that May on French roads is a fairly quiet month, with a total of just 4 problem days forecast throughout the month. These are the 4th & 5thwhich are forecast as orange – “difficile”, whilst the 29th & 30th are forecast as red “tres difficile”. These problems are mainly due to bank holiday traffic. As for traffic near the channel ports, there are also the following warnings:

At Cherbourg there are road widening works on the N13 near Tourlaville & Valognes.

A live traffic map has been added to the “Traffic Info” section so you can access the latest traffic situation on French roads.

The 2019 Traffic forecast for French roads from Bison Fute is also now available in the “Traffic Info” section.

7 DAY FRENCH WEATHER FORECAST

The next 7 days starts with unsettled weather throughout France, with sunny spells & showers covering most of the country until Friday before drier weather starts to spread in from the west, eventually leaving all of France dry & sunny by Monday. Daytime temperatures range from a low of 10C in the north east to a peak of 22C on the Mediterranean coast.

NEW SPEED CAMERAS

After the destruction of up to 70% of the speed cameras in France by the “Gilets Jaunes”, the government have responded by ordering the installation of 400 new “state of the art” Mesta Fusion 2 cameras. These new radars, installed in 4m high turrets, are harder to vandalise & in addition to speed monitoring, they have high resolution cameras that can spot mobile phone usage, driving without seat belts & tailgating. The cameras can also be moved from one location to another leaving the empty turret as a dummy camera.

CHEAPER REPAIR BILLS

If you are unlucky enough to break down in France, a new law introduced last month states that the garage must offer you the option of using second hand replacement parts where available at a saving of between 30 to 50% over new parts.

BREXIT LOOS INSTALLED

Portable toilets have been installed alongside the A16 autoroute between Calais & Dunkerque for use by lorry drivers & motorists who may be stuck in traffic jams due to possible Brexit delays at customs. There have already been jams in recent weeks caused by French customs officers taking industrial action.

CRIT AIR SCHEME EXTENDED

The anti-pollution scheme in place in many large cities is set to be extended to 10 more areas by the end of next year. Stickers are already required to be displayed by any vehicles entering Paris, Rennes, Grenoble, Lyon, Strasbourg & Toulouse. By 2020 they will also be required in Clermont Ferrand, Marseille, Aix en Provence, Annecy, St Etienne, Reims, Toulon & Rouen. Full details of the scheme can be found in the Travel Section.

WHAT’S ON IN FRANCE IN MAY:

NIMES ROMAN GAMES

The city of Nimes annually stages one of the biggest re-enactments of ancient history in Europe. Over 500 actors and extras from all over France, Italy and Germany participate in the event. A grandiose spectacle lasting an hour -and-a-half takes place in the arena on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Each year, the Great Roman Games has a different theme and depicts a highlight of ancient history. Several scenes unfold with equestrian vaulting demonstrations, gladiatorial combat and chariot racing. Runs from 3rd to 5th May.

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

From the 14th to 25th May, the town of Cannes on the Riviera holds its annual Film Festival. A jury of professionals and artists gather there to award several prizes, including the best film, best director, best actor, best actress, Jury Prize, Grand Prix and of course the famous Palme D’Or, the ultimate reward. The official selection emphasises the diversity of cinematographic creation. The walk up the steps attracts heavy media coverage, for the great artists of world cinema as well as emerging talents. The main screenings take place on the Boulevard de la Croisette, in the Festival and Conference Centre.

MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX

Each year, around 100,000 people flock to the famous Bugatti circuit in Le Mans for the French Motorcycle Grand Prix, a weekend of exceptional races. Eleven giant screens are placed at strategic places along the circuit so that spectators can follow the trials and races, as well as attending screenings of films about motorcycling.There is also plenty of entertainment in store: concerts on Friday and Saturday night, exclusive meetings, a shopping village with many shops to choose from: clothing, helmets, leathers, accessories…Runs from 17th to 19th May.

EUROPEAN MUSEUM NIGHT

Over 1,200 French museums take part in European Museum Night, and 98% of them open to the public free of charge between 6 pm and midnight. Most museums offer special activities for this original night, aimed at all audiences: storytelling tour, torch-lit tour, concert, workshops for children, screenings, fireworks… Takes place on 18th May.

MONACO GRAND PRIX

The circuit for the famous Monaco Grand Prix stretches along a narrow strip of coast & is one of the main features on the calendar of the Formula 1 World Championship, also being considered the hardest circuit on the calendar – with a top speed of over 300 km/h, the slightest error can be fatal. 23rd to 26th May.

EUROPA JAZZ FESTIVAL

Every spring, many jazz concerts are held in many different venues in the west of France, from Le Mans to Nantes, from Laval to Angers, from Cholet to La Roche-sur-Yon, and from Alençon to Montjean-sur-Loire. The Europa Jazz Festival welcomes major figures of European jazz first and foremost, as well as new discoveries, creations and young bands. Runs until 12th May.

JAZZ IN COUTANCES

“Jazz under the Apple Trees” in Coutances, Normandy, features lots of unique experiences, creations, special evenings, headliners, new discoveries, jazz in all its diversity as well as a stage for amateur musicians…The very eclectic line-up ranges from “New Orleans” jazz to electronic music & also includes many street performances. 25th May till 1st June.

AIRES DIRECTORY

11 more Aires have been added to the directory this month, they are:

Nans in Doubs, Franche Comte                Caudry in Nord, NPC

La Rochelle in Charente Maritime           Sourdeval in Manche, Normandy

Lanfains in Cotes d’Armor, Brittany        Bargemon in Var, PACA

Etoutteville in Seine-Maritime                 Grolejac in Dordogne, Aquitaine

Le Salvetat in Herault                              Le Puy en Velay in Auvergne

Souppes sur Loing in Seine et Marne, IDF.

AIRE OF THE MONTH

The Aire of the Month for May, 2019 is the private aire at Souppes sur Loing (77) in the Ile de France.

AIRES NEWS

Whilst the Peugeot Museum at Sochaux in Doubs (25) no longer has an aire service point, motorhomes are still welcome to stay for free on the secure parking overnight (locked at night), as long as they inform reception. There is a restaurant in the museum as well as toilets.

CampingCarPark have recently opened a new Camping Village/ Aire in Souppes sur Loing in Seine et Marne (77) – a department that has very few aires. The aire has wifi, toilets, showers, washing-up sinks & 49 spaces but only 5 ehu’s. The aire is about 400m from the village centre – parking is 13€/ 24 hrs – services included.

A new aire has opened in Bargemon, Var (83).The aire is located about 400m north of the centre of this small town, just off the D19 road in a medium size tarmac parking area with 6 level spaces on tarmac. The parking is next to a large wooded area, there is an adjacent drive thru Euro-Relais service point & platform drain. Free parking & water, electricity is 5€.

Another new aire has also opened on the western edge of the town of Caudry, in Nord Pas de Calais (59), in a small tarmac parking area next to the village leisure area & lake. The aire is about 300m from the town centre, has 6 individual spaces next to grass areas, no shade but is lit at night. UrbaFlux service point with drainage platform, ehu’s & wifi, access by automatic barrier. Parking is 6€/ night, services included.

The aire in Sourdeval in Manche (50), Normandy has recently been renovated & now provides 10 individual free spaces with free services.

Also in Normandy, Etoutteville in Seine-Maritime (76) – which is handy for Le Havre or Dieppe, now has an aire. The aire is in a small tarmac parking area, east of the village centre; 6 spaces separated by shrubs lit at night but little shade. Close to the village centre (200m), next to the sports field & a small lake. Modern Euro-Relais borne with platform drain & ehu’s, free parking & 2€ for services.

The aire in Le Puy en Velay in Haute Loire (43) has been moved. It is now managed by CampingCarPark company & is next to the railway station on the east side of the town, about 400m from the centre, in a medium size tarmac parking area surrounded by trees. Spaces are level, lit at night but have little shade, access via automatic barrier, CCP membership card required. Euro-Relais service point with drainage platform, 6A ehu’s, wifi & CCTV security – 11€/ night. Good shopping centre in town as well as a couple of museums & a UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral.

Full details of the above are in the Aires Directory.

If you have any news or reviews of aires or campsites please email them to: contact@motorhomingfrance.co.uk

AMAZON REVIEWS

Many thanks to those of you who took the time to submit an Amazon review for our books, it’s much appreciated. Alan