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France: A1 Autoroute And The Taxi Lane

  Posted at 08:30:00 AM
  File under  France
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Since a couple of months, the French authorities are experimenting a new "concept" on the A1 Open link in a new window autoroute (the Northern motorway into Paris - the one used by most motorcycle riders coming from the North, including the UK). To calm the growing protests by the Parisian taxis, they close one of three lanes, reserving it for taxis and buses from 7 to 10 in the morning (i.e. rush hour).

During the busiest moment of the day on that road, they close down one lane and dedicate it to taxis coming from the Charles de Gaulle airport into Paris. It saves the cabs 10-15 minutes, but has increased the traffic jams dramatically. Already, the A1 was extremely busy with commuters coming into Paris, but now traffic is at a complete stop.

The problem now is that motorcycles aren't allowed to take the leftmost lane either, and when you split the lane where you would normally do so, you are at fault, and you will be fined! The authorities have placed video cameras on that lane, and any vehicle that is not a taxi or bus will automatically be fined €135. So now motorcycles will need to split lanes in an area where cars do not expect them.... dangerous!

Fortunately, it's an experiment lasting until 30 September, but knowing how things work (or not) here in France, you can be sure they are going to keep this going. It's just too good of a revenue earner for the cash-strapped city. In the mean time, there's a growing unrest with commuters from the North, so expect a protest action coming next month.

So be aware when coming into Paris during the morning rush hour!

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