Posted 16th May 2017
FRANCE TAKES STEPS TO TACKLE AIRPORT POLLUTION
The French Alps might seem like a haven for pure air, but the reality is some of the towns in the valleys are amongst the worst polluted places in France, as John Laurenson writes in this BBC article.
Depending on which resort you’re in, you’re unlikely to feel the effects of pollution as the air at high altitude is pretty clean. However, down in the valley, meteological conditions often keep the fine particle pollutants accumulated and festering, causing serious health problems for its inhabitants. It’s now got to such a level that the government has been forced to take action – and this could affect you.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE DRIVING IN FRANCE
The French government has launched a new scheme, Crit Air Vignettes. If you are driving in certain areas of France (notably Paris, Lyon and Grenoble), even in a British registered car, you will need a sticker showing how “green” your vehicle is. You can apply for your vignette online and they cost as little as £4. If you don’t buy one, you could be liable for a fine of up to £112. The idea is that during certain periods, when pollution levels rise to a critical point, older, more polluting vehicles will not be allowed into the controlled area. This RAC article has more useful information about what you need to know.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
– CHOOSE THE RIGHT AIRPORT. Once you’ve chosen your ski resort, consider carefully which airport is best for you. For French resorts, you have Geneva Airport, Grenoble Airport, Lyon Airport or Chambery Airport. Check out the transfer distance from each airport on our website and you could save yourself time, money and a load of hassle.
– CHOOSE A SHARED SKI TRANSFER. Ben’s Bus generally uses large, 50 seater buses. Based on an average of 3 people either in a hire car or a private transfer, that’s saving about 16 other vehicles on the road! Less pollution and less congestion = even less pollution!
– DON’T BRING THE KITCHEN SINK! Do you really need all that stuff? Ski Hire has come a long way in the last few years and the equipment on offer now is really good. How about just bringing your ski boots and then hiring a board / skis? Apart from saving money on airline fees, you’ll arrive into resort less stressed and you’ll get to try out the latest equipment.
– FLY ON A SUNDAY? The roads are hardly ever congested on a Sunday, meaning a quicker transfer time. Just make sure, before you book your flight, that you can get a shared transfer.
– AVOID PEAK TIMES. The roads leading up to the resorts are generally busiest between 12 noon – 4pm. If you are travelling in school holidays, especially around February, this congestion can get really bad. Consider flying early in the morning so you get to the resort before the mayhem starts. Alternatively, fly late in the evening. Remember hough, as the day goes on, you have more chance of your flight being delayed. Then you need to allow for the journey to the resort, which can be up to 4 hours! Arriving at 1am and trying to check in with tired kids can be an awful start to the holiday. So bear that risk in mind.
For your return back to the airport, the roads are busiest between 9am – 2pm. So try and avoid transfers at that time.
As a rule of thumb, if you arrive into your airport in France between 10am – 3pm, you are likely to hit traffic. If you have a flight leaving France between 1pm – 5pm, you are likely to hit traffic heading back to the airport.
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