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  #141  
Old 27.06.2012, 13:24
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Has anyone got any good website recommendations for roadworks/traffic news? A few mentions above about avoiding route X, Y or Z due to roadworks - what source are you getting that from? According to viamichelin there are roadworks on the A4 at present (lane closures from Strasbourg - Metz area), which may mean it is worth avoiding.

Am planning to do my first drive back to blighty in August with a 3mth child in tow. Looking to do it as an overnighter (fits best with my daughters sleeping schedules), leaving Zurich around 8pm and taking the 5am (ish) ferry from Calais.

I'm presuming that almost all routes will be pretty traffic free at this time, but if any experts would like to share their wisdom, I'm happy to hear it! I like the sound of nessy's route above (#136), but slightly concerned about the D road stretch to Nancy, night-time driving and D roads often means pitch-black and stumbling about.

Cheers.
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  #142  
Old 27.06.2012, 13:52
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Has anyone got any good website recommendations for roadworks/traffic news? A few mentions above about avoiding route X, Y or Z due to roadworks - what source are you getting that from? According to viamichelin there are roadworks on the A4 at present (lane closures from Strasbourg - Metz area), which may mean it is worth avoiding.

Am planning to do my first drive back to blighty in August with a 3mth child in tow. Looking to do it as an overnighter (fits best with my daughters sleeping schedules), leaving Zurich around 8pm and taking the 5am (ish) ferry from Calais.

I'm presuming that almost all routes will be pretty traffic free at this time, but if any experts would like to share their wisdom, I'm happy to hear it! I like the sound of nessy's route above (#136), but slightly concerned about the D road stretch to Nancy, night-time driving and D roads often means pitch-black and stumbling about.

Cheers.

Went to Uk a couple of weeks ago, my GPS died & I bought a new Mio 685 in UK PC world for £87 - it has the TMC system built in that warns you in real time about traffic problems en route & offers alternatives.

Liked it so much I bought my wife one here this week for 131CHF in Conforama.

Took an esoteric route to UK as I try to avoid Basel & Strasbourg so I went across the Black Forest to Freiburg & then via Colmar in the direction of Nancy. My plan was to pick up the autoroute before Nancy & then to Reims via autoroute but for some reason my GPS switched me to the RN4 - it was actually pretty good. Dual carriageways with 2 lanes in each direction, no tolls but limited to 110.

I also bought a gadget in the Web for 10 euros that allowed me to drive through the automated toll gates on the autoroutes & automatically charged my credit card - no queues.
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  #143  
Old 27.06.2012, 13:58
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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I also bought a gadget in the Web for 10 euros that allowed me to drive through the automated toll gates on the autoroutes & automatically charged my credit card - no queues.
!!!

Where, what, how. Been asking around for one and never found a solution...
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  #144  
Old 27.06.2012, 14:07
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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!!!

Where, what, how. Been asking around for one and never found a solution...
http://www.aprr.fr/autoroute/pass_autoroute.htm

I had to use google translate to work through the French instructions
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  #145  
Old 27.06.2012, 14:11
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

This one is only 7.90 EUR for 21 days use (good for French touring holidays).
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  #146  
Old 27.06.2012, 14:26
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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http://www.aprr.fr/autoroute/pass_autoroute.htm

I had to use google translate to work through the French instructions
Je parle Français, so no worries there.

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This one is only 7.90 EUR for 21 days use (good for French touring holidays).
I think the difference between the two is that for the second one you pay from date of postage to you (or 2 days thereafter) and you pay a daily fee after the 21 days are up.

At least with the "official" one, you keep the device ad infinitum (or until they change the system! ) and only get charged when used - which is useful if you do regular but infrequent trips to the UK...

Anyone got a different interpretation?
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  #147  
Old 27.06.2012, 23:13
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

We drive to East Sussex by going out the top of Switzerland, through Becacon up to Dijon then onto Calais, quickest route we have found takes 8 hours.
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  #148  
Old 27.06.2012, 23:36
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

We generally go to the North, so Dover is a bit far down. We went to Newcastle once from Amsterdam but poorly organised, took almost an hour to get through passport control. Long crossing too. We going over in Aug and going Rotterdam to Hull, priority on and off so we can be on the road soon after docking, really short crossing too, which is good for the pets
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  #149  
Old 28.06.2012, 00:22
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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As for the Luxembourg route - Zurich - Basel - Strasbourg - Metz - Luxembourg - Namur - Charleroi - Lille - Dunkirk - look on Google and you'll find it. There are 2 service stations in Luxembourg - one near the French border - one near the Belgian - make sure you stop for fuel!!!

The road is the E42 - pretty much all the way - good road with a huge chunk resurfaced last year. However, the surface isn't great from Namur to Lille - and there are roadworks on the last section close to Dunkirk at the moment. It is dual carriageway style motorway all the way - and the run from Namur to Luxembourg is littered with speeders - both Belgian and Lux.
On an earlier post you mentioned this way, and in April / May we took this route. An excellent recommendation thank you! Especially the tanking in Luxembourg, about the same price as here.

We took DFDS-Norfolk ferry, Dunkirk-Dover (With car it was €160 total for the 2 crossings), included was £10 for first class lounge, and we enjoyed a roast lamb dinner with sea views. Excellent - thanks again!
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  #150  
Old 28.06.2012, 00:34
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Has anyone got any good website recommendations for roadworks/traffic news?
Cheers.
Bison Futé is not bad. It also has forecasts regarding traffic at weekends, etc.

http://www.bison-fute.equipement.gou...l.do?langue=en

Last edited by Snoopy; 28.06.2012 at 00:35. Reason: Found the English site
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  #151  
Old 10.08.2012, 14:45
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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I also bought a gadget in the Web for 10 euros that allowed me to drive through the automated toll gates on the autoroutes & automatically charged my credit card - no queues.
How long did it take to deliver your web gadget? I'm curious if its worth getting or not.

Cheers.

Stu
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  #152  
Old 10.08.2012, 17:53
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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How long did it take to deliver your web gadget? I'm curious if its worth getting or not.

Cheers.

Stu
4 days to deliver

Also it took 2 months after my trip before they charged my credit card with the various tolls.
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  #153  
Old 10.08.2012, 18:02
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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How long did it take to deliver your web gadget? I'm curious if its worth getting or not.

Cheers.

Stu
You can of course just shove your credit card in the slot. It's very fast - especially if you don't want a receipt...
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  #154  
Old 10.08.2012, 18:05
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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You can of course just shove your credit card in the slot. It's very fast - especially if you don't want a receipt...
Do they take all credit cards now?

At one time some of the toll gates only took French cards.

The benefit of the gadget is that there is usually no queue at the drive through gates
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  #155  
Old 27.08.2012, 17:25
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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We took DFDS-Norfolk ferry, Dunkirk-Dover (With car it was €160 total for the 2 crossings), included was £10 for first class lounge, and we enjoyed a roast lamb dinner with sea views. Excellent - thanks again!
We love the route DFDS Dunkirk-Dover, very comfortable ship, nice to either walkabout or relax with great views. It is 2hrs crossing, good to relax from driving. Sometimes the price can be as low as 20 each way, depending when you book and time of day/night.
They do not take foot passengers & have separate section for Lorry Drivers to relax/eat

Only time it was crowded was for the 60th Anniversary of 'Battle of Dunkirk'
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  #156  
Old 27.08.2012, 17:30
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Do they take all credit cards now?

At one time some of the toll gates only took French cards.

The benefit of the gadget is that there is usually no queue at the drive through gates
Took my Visa OK.
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  #157  
Old 27.08.2012, 17:49
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Took my Visa OK.
Yes, no problem with Visa or Mastercard. They don't take Maestro though.
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  #158  
Old 28.12.2013, 13:26
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Driving to UK - Routes

(Mods can this be a sticky? And used only for the routes?)

Add routes (direction CH to UK).
Include: distance, time taken, likely choke points, cheap fuel, speed cameras, dates of use, costs, etc etc

Basel - Colmar - Selestat - Luneville - Nancy - St Dezier - Chalon - Reims - Calais

Distance: 685km
Time: 8hr (towing a large/heavy trailer) (Nov 2013); 6.25hr (car) (Dec 2013)
Tolls: Car - 8eur (Tunnel); 3.5eur (Reims) 21.50eur (Reims-Calais)

Cheap Fuel: N333 (Vitrimont) just after Luneville - TOTAL Access; N44 just after Chalon - TOTAL Access (Both adequately signposted); On the Rue Yverant Tourmaniantz (Calais) - either a TOTAL on the right side of the A/N216 or a Carrefour on the left side.
Pagny sur Meuse - a La Favourit stop with TOTAL fuel (very cheap); a restaurant and what appears to be a motel type place.

Pros: The N4 and N59 are both recently renovated and in sections added to - reducing the number of potential delays. 110kmh for most of the way. Regular cheap fuel stops off the Autoroute.

Cons: The section from the N4 to the A4 (N44) has frequent single carriageway sections which could lead to delays. The route is littered with speed cameras so excessively high cruising is not possible - watch out for the 70 zone camera just after the Tunnel

Summary: A good route to use to avoid Strasbourg (a major traffic choke point). The single file sections are relatively short and interspersed with regular dual carriageway. The route is visually far more enjoyable - and the section to Reims goes a lot quicker than expected.
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Last edited by dodgyken; 05.05.2014 at 07:40.
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  #159  
Old 14.01.2014, 09:45
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

Basel - Colmar - Strasbourg - Metz - Reims - Calais

Distance: 750km
Time: 7.5hr (average based on numerous trips and different times); 5.25 (fastest - late night, cruising at 160kmh in France)
Tolls: Car - Approx 40-50eur each way.

Cheap Fuel: On the Rue Yverant Tourmaniantz (Calais) - either a TOTAL on the right side of the A/N216 or a Carrefour on the left side

Pros: The entire route is Autoroute which allows a higher cruising speed. My advice is stick around 140kmh to avoid mobile radar - and no more than 136kmh to avoid the fixed cameras (more common - especially in the 110 zones - and around Strasbourg).

Cons: 750km on an Autoroute is mind-numbing. And the sections from Metz-Reims and Reims-Calais in particular can seem to take forever. Strasbourg continues to be a major traffic problem.

Summary: Arguably the easiest route to Calais but Strasbourg can cost big time if there is traffic. Skipping up the German side to Offenbach and over - or straight through the center via Kehl - doesn't do enough to negate this problem.
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  #160  
Old 14.01.2014, 09:52
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

Basel - Colmar - Strasbourg - Metz - Luxembourg - Namur - Lille - Calais

Distance: 770km
Time: 7.75hr (average based on numerous trips and different times)
Tolls: Car - Approx 20eur each way.

Cheap Fuel: Either of the 2 service stations in Luxembourg (Belgian side one is less busy); For even cheaper fuel try Steinfort (off the motorway) in Luxembourg; On the Rue Yverant Tourmaniantz (Calais) - either a TOTAL on the right side of the A/N216 or a Carrefour on the left side

Pros: The cheapest autoroute to Calais. The extra 20km is easily covered by the massive saving on petrol in Luxembourg (less difference to non-autoroute French prices for diesel though) and the 20eur each way toll saving. The Belgian motorways are lit which makes night driving a lot easier.

Cons: The Belgian sections can get very busy, and once into France again Lille can be particularly painful - and not the clearest for signposting. It is the longest of the 3 Basel-Calais routes.

Summary: If you travel from Dunkirk this route is a no-brainer - cheaper and shorter than the other 2. It works well on the way back if you can make your way through Lille before/after heavy traffic. If you can drive long stretches without a break this route gives the best split (with a break in Lux)
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