Trains, planes, Eurostar, Metro: eight updates on travel in France

We take a look at the stories surrounding travel to, from and around France this week.

1. Eurostar increases its London-Paris connections

Eurostar passenger numbers have suffered badly throughout the pandemic, standing at 14.8% of 2019 levels in 2021.

However, now that travel restrictions have eased between the UK and France, the rail company is making services more frequent.

Read more: Recap: what Covid travel rules are in place between the UK and France

Currently, three or four Eurostar trains run daily between London and Paris, but from January 28, the offer increases to five.

By February 7, that number will increase to seven, although this may vary depending on the day of the week.

A Republican candidate in this year’s parliamentary election in June also called on Eurostar to resume services from Ashford and Ebbsfleet stations as soon as possible.

Artus Galiay says reopening stations is crucial for economic recovery, both in the UK and France.

“Eurostar says they won’t resume service until 2023 at the earliest. The problem is the longer you keep them closed the more you kill this long-term business model because people will just stop relying on them,” he told Kent. Online January 15.

2. The number of passengers at Aéroport de Paris down 60% in 2021

The Paris Aéroport group indicated that its number of passengers in 2021 was 38.8% compared to 2019, while it had increased by 26.8% since 2020.

In 2021, Paris Aéroport welcomed 41.9 million passengers. Paris-Orly is doing better than Charles de Gaulle, reaching 49.4% of the number of passengers in 2019 compared to 34.4%.

Domestic flights fared better than their international counterparts, reaching 52.7% of 2019 figures, while foreign routes lagged around 35%.

In December [2021]Paris Aéroport recorded 5.2 million travellers, or 64.4% of the number that passed through airports in 2019, suggesting that the recovery of the air transport industry will continue.

3. The 11 French cities with the most dangerous public transport networks

The French Interior Ministry has released details of the 11 French cities where traveling by public transport is the most dangerous, reports Le Figaro.

In all these cities, there were more than 1,000 incidents of robberies and attacks during the year 2020.

Paris tops the list of cities, with approximately 54,856 victims, based on the number of criminal incidents per 1,000 inhabitants.

The Paris suburb of Saint-Denis comes next, followed by Lyon, Montpellier, Grenoble, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lille, Toulouse, Nice and Marseille.

Despite their presence in the table, the number of robberies and assaults committed on public transport fell significantly in Montpellier and Toulouse compared to 2019. The number of criminal incidents in these cities fell by 24% and 32 respectively. %

These figures come from the Departmental Statistical Service of Homeland Security and are drawn from a database of crimes recorded by police forces. Incidents include pickpocketing, assault, sexual assault, verbal and physical attacks.

Some 74% of perpetrators were between 13 and 29 years old.

4. The Prime Minister promises the Paris-Aurillac night train within two years

Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced the reopening of the Paris-Aurillac (Cantal) night train line after being abandoned in 2003.

The service should resume “within two years”, specified the prefect of Cantal, Serge Castel.

The line may reopen in December 2023, as this is the time of year when timetables are revised.

The new night trains will consist of three cars: first class, second class and seats.

The project will be financed by the State within the framework of the Convention d’exploitation des trains d’quilibre du territoire.

Night trains between Paris and Nice and Paris and Lourdes have already been relaunched in recent months, with several more planned by 2030.

These include Paris to Albi, Bayonne, San Sebastian, Barcelona, ​​Toulouse, Montpellier and Marseille.

5. Ryanair to resume London-Bergerac route after Covid suspension

Ryanair is restoring its London Stansted – Bergerac route after being suspended for the whole of January under France’s strict travel rules for British passengers.

Travelers can now book flights to and from the city of Dordogne from February 1.

The low-cost company is the only tour operator to offer a connection between London and the Dordogne.

After the introduction of France tightened restrictions on British travelers on December 18, some Bergerac-London flights were only half or a third full.

Gwenvael Ronsin-Hardy, director of Bergerac airport, told France 3 that some planes capable of carrying 190 people would only have 60 passengers per flight.

The strict rules for travel from France to the UK have now been relaxed and fully vaccinated people coming from the UK no longer need to present an essential reason or self-isolate on arrival.

However, they must present to the travel agency the negative result of a PCR or antigen test carried out within 24 hours prior to the start of their trip, be able to prove their vaccination status and provide a sworn statement confirming that ‘they don’t have Covid symptoms.

Read more: France reopens to British tourists: rules for adults and children

6. More pre-departure tests for vaccinated travelers from France to Switzerland

The Swiss government has announced that people who are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from Covid will no longer need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result to their tour operator before entering the country.

This will come into effect tomorrow (January 22).

Unvaccinated people over the age of 16 will still need to provide a negative test result, but will no longer need to take another test between days four and seven after arrival.

PCR tests can be carried out 72 hours before travel, while antigen tests must be carried out within 24 hours before.

Anyone traveling by plane or bus will still need to complete a registration form, details of which can be found here.

7. Air France launches a new Paris-Quebec seasonal route

Air France has announced its intention to launch a Paris-Charles de Gaulle – Quebec route, which will run from May to October.

Passengers will be able to choose between three weekly flights.

“Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, the historic center of Quebec is the only fortified city in North America,” said Air France. “Today, Québec is a dynamic city where important festivals and cultural events take place throughout the year.

“The exceptional natural parks of the metropolitan region and the east of the province offer more opportunities to discover the beauty of Québec.

8. Opposition to the new extension of the Paris metro line cutting through the Bois de Vincennes

Activists oppose the extension of Line 1 of the Paris Metro into the Bois de Vincennes in the east of the city, but local authorities say the three additional stations will help connect suburbs that are poorly served by public transport .

About 500 trees are threatened by the extension of the line, which will leave from the current terminus of Château-de-Vincennes towards Fontenay-sous-Bois and Montreuil.

one online The “Touche pas à mon bois” petition has already collected 62,000 signatures and a public inquiry is due to begin on January 31.

The petition claims that an area the size of 100 tennis courts will be deforested and partially covered with concrete, although some sections will be reforested once the work is complete.

“The Bois de Vincennes, home to an invaluable biodiversity reserve, is a World Heritage Site,” he said. “But never mind, all related restrictions will be lifted and the wood will be sacrificed in the name of ‘the public utility of the project'”.

David Belliard, deputy mayor of Paris responsible for the development of public spaces, said: “This extension is essential to move from our current energy consumption, but it cannot be done just anyhow.

“In the context of climate change, every tree counts in a concrete city like Paris.”

Grégoire de Lasteyrie, vice-president of Ile-de-France Mobilités, said: “We are going to replant three times as many felled trees. In the end, only 200 square meters out of the 1,000 hectares of wood will be affected.

But opponents worry about the already established biodiversity that will be lost with the initial deforestation.

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