Ben’s Blog | News From Ben’s Bus

Travel Restrictions Ease & Snow Arrives in France

 

Travel Restrictions ease snow fallsIt’s as if the Snow Gods heard the announcement that double-jabbed Brits will face less stringent travel restrictions. There’s no longer a need to take expensive tests and both France and Switzerland have moved to the Green List. The news was greeted with jubilation by the ski industry and skiers alike.

24 hours later – the snow starts falling in most of the resorts we cover. It’s a good omen!

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VAL THORENS

 

Of course, the highest ski resort in Europe picked up some snow. Our transfers to Val Thorens run regularly from Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon Airports

 

 

ALPE D’HUEZ (and LES 2 ALPES)

 

Alpe d’Huez and Les 2 Alpes also received their first snowfall of the Autumn. Travel there from Grenoble and Lyon Airport.

 

 

VAL D’ISERE (AND TIGNES)

 

Val d’Isere and Tignes have an excellent snow record.

 

 

LA PLAGNE

 

La Plagne is linked toLes Arcs via the Paradiski Express lift

Ski Holiday Flights | How to Reduce CO2 Emissions

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT WHEN FLYING TO YOUR SKI HOLIDAY

 

how to reduce carbon footprint and fly to go skiingAfter a summer of extreme floods, heatwaves and wildfires, the issue of Climate Change has never felt so real. Sustainability has become an important part of all our lives. Many travellers are now asking “How can I reduce my carbon footprint and still fly to my ski holiday?”

Carbon offsetting initiatives such as easyJet’s sustainability scheme are helpful, but they don’t eliminate the CO2 emitted when flying. However, done right and over a certain distance, flying is not actually as bad as some people think. Trains and cars still use energy and electricity is not yet 100% green. The extra emissions caused by congestion if everyone were to stop taking planes needs to be considered.

  All forms of transport contribute to the problem and all have a role to play in the solution. If we do choose to fly, there are a few small gestures we can all make so our flight becomes that little bit more eco-friendly.

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TOP TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR CO2 EMISSIONS WHEN FLYING

 

1. TAKE DIRECT FLIGHTS

 

Take Direct Flights to save emissionsA large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions on short flights are used on take-off. There’s a huge selection of direct flights to airports such as Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon, so it’s hard to justify stop-over flights via places like Amsterdam or Munich.

If you can’t find a flight that suits your budget / time, Skyscanner has a great function where you can click “Add Nearby Airports”. You could also fly into one airport and out of another if the times / prices suit you better.

 

 

2. USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO GET TO THE AIRPORT

 

Public Transport to AirportFor some people, driving to the airport cannot be helped. Electric cars are great, but remember that not all electricity is green yet and your car still contributes to congestion. Consider getting a taxi to the bus / train station if you have bags / children in tow.

Most UK airports do have good public transport access. Find out how to get to your UK airport by bus or by train. It can also be cheaper when you factor in airport parking and it’s a nicer way to arrive, since you’re usually dropped right outside Departures.

 

 

3. USE SHARED TRANSFERS TO GET UP TO YOUR SKI RESORT

 

Shared Transfers Reduce Carbon FootprintMost of the big resorts like Tignes, Val Thorens and Val d’Isere have at least one shared transfer service, public bus or train service. See a list of which ski resorts we cover.

Just one Ben’s Bus can potentially replace 15-20 private transfers / hire cars on the road. On the busy weeks for ski resorts, the congestion on the access roads can sometimes result in total gridlock. This slow moving traffic caused by so many vehicles considerably increases the CO2 emissions / person.

 

 

4. HIRE SKIS IN RESORT

 

Hire Skis in ResortSki hire shops have come a long way in recent years. Prices are very reasonable and probably comparable with the extra cost of bringing your skis / board on a plane. That extra weight adds a lot of CO2 onto your carbon footprint.

Most shops have a large range of modern equipment and some even deliver to your accommodation. You don’t need to lug your gear to and from the airport and wait at the oversized luggage. Visit our discounted ski hire page to get a quote.

 

 

5. PACK LIGHT

 

Pack Light to Save the PlanetEvery extra kilo in your bag means more CO2 going into the atmosphere. This article by Fly Aware explains how if everyone on a Heathrow to Frankfurt flight took 1kg less in their luggage, in 1 year they would have collectively saved 60 tonnes of Co2!! You’ll also put less strain on your body, so you’ll arrive fresher and fitter to enjoy your ski holiday.

Set yourself a challenge this year to see which of our top tips you can use and how many kilos you can shed:

DON’T OVERPACK. Give more thought to what goes in your bags. Do you really need all those clothes? Potential Saving = 3kg

LAPTOPS and chargers don’t make for a relaxing holiday. Maybe your phone can do everything? Potential Saving = 2.5kg

DUTY FREE. Check if your arrival airport offers a pick up service. Or could we deliver it to you? Potential Saving = 1kg

LIGHTWEIGHT SKI GEAR. For instance, Merino wool thermals are very light and effective. Potential Saving = 1kg

TOWELS & LINEN. Check if your accommodation could provide or rent towels and sheets. Potential Saving = 1kg

TOILETRIES such as shower gel and shampoo could be bought in resort and shared. Potential Saving = 0.5kg

CO-ORDINATE with your fellow travellers so you don’t bring 4 sets of speakers. Potential Saving = 0.5kg

– LOSE WEIGHT! Easier said than done! It does reduce the risk of ski injuries. Potential Saving = ????kg

For those who aren’t regular skiers, or just trying it for the first time, you could rent your ski clothes in resort. This would also save you a lot of money. As tempting as it is to bring that can of baked beans on the plane, if you’re trying to save the planet, you do have alternatives. We’re offering a new food delivery service in resort this year and we hope to bring you these classic British brands.

 

 

6. CHOOSE A RESORT IN EUROPE

 

The US and Japan are inviting, exciting destinations if you’re lucky enough to afford it. Perhaps those long-haul flights could be used for a longer trip though? You could include skiing in a 3 week holiday to that country? The ICAO has developed a flight CO2 calculator. Below is a list of how much CO2 is produced for a Round trip flight from London, in economy class.

Tokyo, Japan =  774kg of CO2

Denver, Colorado, United States =  764kg of CO2

Geneva, Switzerland =  200kg of CO2

As a comparison, driving to Geneva, Switzerland = 171kg of CO2 (according to the CO2 myclimate website). This is based on a 2,000km round trip from London to Geneva in a mid-range petrol car with 4 of you in the car. This is interestingly not that much less than flying! Put a roof box on the car and it adds between 10-25% to your fuel bill, so flying becomes a carbon-efficient way of getting to the resort.

 

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Ski Season 2021/22 Airport Transfers

CAN I GO SKIING NEXT YEAR?

 

2021 2022 Ski SeasonThe 2020/21 season was just a tad frustrating for skiers and boarders, as nearly all ski holidays were cancelled. So many of you are now asking…. will ski resorts open in 2022?

All European ski resorts will almost certainly open for the 2021 / 2022 season. High vaccination and low hospitalisation rates have brought confidence back to the ski holiday industry. However, many Tour Operators are no longer running the traditional catered chalet holiday, partly due to Brexit. Instead, self-catered accommodation seems increasingly popular.

 

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Scroll to the bottom of this post to read about our extra Christmas Holiday weekday services.

 

2021 / 2022 WINTER SKI SEASON – AIRPORT TRANSFERS

 

Select a Ski Resort below to see how we can get you from your airport to your destination, or scroll down for more information.

Aime Transfers           Alpe d'Huez Transfers           Bourg d'Oisans Transfers           Bourg St Maurice Transfers

Brides Les Bains Transfers           Chamrousse Transfers           Courchevel Transfers           La Grave Transfers

La Plagne Transfers           Les Allues Transfers           Les Arcs Transfers           Les Deux Alpes Transfers

Les Menuires Transfers           Meribel Transfers           Mottaret Transfers           Moutiers Transfers

Oz en Oisans Transfers           Sainte Foy Transfers           Serre Chevalier Transfers           St Martin de Belleville Transfers

Tignes Transfers           Val d'Isere Transfers           Val Thorens Transfers           Vaujany Transfers

Our transfer buses can also help you get to La Tania, Peisey and Les Coches (from AimeLa RosiereVillard Reculas and Auris en Oisans. Our transfers from Grenoble Airport are currently only on sale up until the 26th March 2021, which is when the airlines change to their summer schedule. We will be running buses in April 2022. You can find out more on our Easter and Spring Transfer Buses Page.

 

Lyon Airport Ski Transfers 2022 SeasonApart from our special transfers for the RISE festival, our Saturday-only service starts on the 8th January 2022. We generally have only a mid-morning service, although in March we also have a late afternoon bus. The resorts we service are listed on our Lyon Airport page. Our transfers are now on sale and you can get a quote or book online!

 

Geneva Airport Ski Transfers 2022 SeasonOur ski transfers from Geneva Airport run on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. We also have some weekday buses over the Christmas and New Year weeks (scroll down for more details). For our most popular routes, such as Geneva to Val Thorens, Geneva to Tignes and Geneva to Val d’Isere, we have up to 8 buses per Saturday.

 

Grenoble Airport Ski Transfers 2022 SeasonIf you are heading to Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes, we will have a bus connecting with every single scheduled flight, any day of the week, throughout the season. Our services to other resorts such as Tignes and Val Thorens, will run on week-ends all the way through season .

 

 

2021/22 SKI SEASON TRANSFER PRICES

 

Ski Transfer Prices 2021 2022We’ve frozen nearly all our prices for the 2nd year running. That means you’ll pay the same this season as you would have done in the 2019/20 season. You can see our fares on our Prices Page. A Return costs about £90pp for resorts like Val Thorens, Tignes, Val d’Isere, Les Arcs, La Plagne and Meribel and just over £50pp for Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes. We still have discounts for groups and children. Sign up to our Mailing List at the bottom of this page and like us on facebook to get access to any promo codes.

 

 

 

WHAT REFUND GUARANTEES ARE THERE?

 

Bens Bus Plus Refund GuaranteeWe know that you need the peace of mind of receiving a refund should you need to cancel. Flexibility to change your booking for free is another key requirement for many holidaymakers. That’s why we recommend upgrading to our new product, Ben’s Bus Plus. This allows you to book with confidence.

 

 

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CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS WEEKS

 

This year, Christmas Day and New Years Day falls on a Saturday, the traditional changeover day in ski resorts. A lot of airlines don’t actually fly on Christmas Day. The resorts know this and a lot of accommodation providers will change their holiday packages to a Sunday – Sunday in December, reverting back to a Saturday – Saturday in early January 2022. We’re running some extra buses from Grenoble and Geneva over the festive period.

If you are planning a trip between Grenoble Airport and either Les Deux Alpes or Alpe d’Huez, we connect with every single scheduled flight. So whatever day you fly in or out, we will have a bus for you.

PLEASE NOTE: The information below does not apply to our Lyon Airport routes, which start on the 8th January 2022.

Saturday 18th December :     Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Sunday 19th December :       Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Saturday 25th December :     No Service except from Grenoble Airport < > Les 2 Alpes and Alpe d’Huez

Sunday 26th December :       Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Monday 27th December :       Late morning and early evening service from Geneva Airport

Tuesday 28th December :      Late morning and early evening service from Geneva Airport

Saturday 1st January 2020 :  Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Sunday 2nd January 2020 :   Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Monday 3rd January 2020 :   3 services from most resorts to Geneva Airport

 

To keep up to date with all our news, follow us on facebook.

Read our latest blog post for some top tips on how you can reduce your carbon footprint if you are flying to your ski holiday.

We’re also looking at starting our  Food Shopping Delivery Service to Tignes, Val d’Isere and Val Thorens for this season.

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Skiing in The Time of Brexit

HOW WILL BREXIT AFFECT ME IF I WANT TO GO SKIING IN FRANCE?

 

Thinking about skiing in France in the 2021 / 2022 season but worried about what paperwork you will need? There have been a few changes due to Brexit, so it’s understandable if you’re confused. We’ve been keeping a close eye on things and have summarised what we’ve learnt below.

Our blog post about entry requirements for Switzerland and France is also quite useful.

Our page dedicated to Coronavirus and Safety explains what you can do to help everyone stay safe whilst on our ski transfer buses and on holiday.

Read about our Refund Policy and how upgrading to Ben’s Bus Plus gives you the peace of mind everyone is looking for.

Get a Quote for your Ski Transfer Now

 

 

WHICH AIRPORT ARE YOU FLYING INTO?

 

Airport Requirements Covid and BrexitIf you are flying into Grenoble Airport or Lyon Airport, and skiing in France, then you only need to worry about what France asks of you. You’ll either need to be fully vaccinated or have a negative test. Regardless of where you are coming from, you will need to fill in the Declaration sur l’honneur form.

If you are flying into Geneva Airport, then you also need to consider what the Swiss ask of you. If you are fully vaccinated and have tickets booked to transit straight to France, you should be ok. All the ski resorts we cover are in regions in France so you need to ensure your comply with the French rules. You will need to fill in an entry form before landing at Geneva Airport.

 

 

I AM BRITISH AND COMING IN FROM THE UK

 

UK Flag Rules on Brits travelling to EUBrexit hasn’t had much impact on Brits holidaying in France. However, since the UK’s departure from the EU, British nationals are required to have at least 6 months validity on their passport. Use the Government’s passport validity tool to be sure. Ensure you have adequate health insurance and/or check your E111 is still valid. You can find more up to date info, including about Covid-19 on the UK FCO page for France or the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The Ambassador’s website has regular updates with the latest news.



 

The information above is intended as a guide only. Ben’s Bus cannot be held responsible for inaccurate or out of date information. To be certain of the current laws, guidelines and entry requirements, you should visit the official Government websites. This page was last updated on the 26th Nov 2021.

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Ben’s Bus Plus Refund Guarantee

Posted 3rd November 2020

NEW! UPGRADE FOR BETTER REFUND TERMS

 

We understand that in these uncertain times, you need the peace of mind of booking with confidence in case you need to cancel your booking. That’s why we’ve introduced Ben’s Bus Plus. For a small surcharge, you could get a 100% refund should you no longer be able to travel. You’ll get extra benefits too, including free unlimited changes to your booking. Visit our Ben’s Bus Plus page for full details and Conditions.

Ben's Bus Plus Refund Guarantee

Ben’s Bus Plus is available on all our transfers, including our buses from Geneva Airport to Val Thorens, Geneva to Tignes, Geneva to Val d’Isere, and Grenoble Airport to Alpe d’Huez. Visit our ski resorts page for a full list of available routes. To find out more about what we’re doing to help mitigate the effects of Covid-19, visit our Safety Page.

 

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Travel, Entry & Quarantine Rules | Skiing in France and Switzerland

TRAVELLING TO FRANCE, INCLUDING TRANSITING THROUGH SWITZERLAND

 

Due to the constant rule changing by the various governments in Europe, we are keeping all the information regarding entry requirements for Switzerland, France and for returning to the UK, on our Safety and Covid Page. Please ensure you expand and read all the sections on this webpage.

 

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NEW BUS STOP IN TIGNES VAL CLARET

Posted 7th August 2020

NEW, SECOND BUS STOP IN LOWER TIGNES VAL CLARET

 

Tignes Val Claret Airport Transfer Bus StopWe’ve added a new bus stop in Tignes Val Claret. As well as our existing stop at the top of the resort, we’ve now added a second stop lower down, on the roundabout at the entrance to the town. Click the map to the left to see a larger version.

From our new stop, you can walk on a flat road to the accommodations in the lower part of the resort – so no walking up and down hills!

You can select either of these stops when you book with us. If you’re not sure which stop is best for you, ask your accommodation providers or consult the Tignes Tourist Office Map. You can also select your stop after you have booked with us by logging into your account.

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New Bus Stop in Mottaret Le Hameau

Posted 16th July 2020

NEW BUS STOP IN MOTTARET LE HAMEAU

 

Mottaret Ben's Bus Airport Transfers StopsWe’ve listened to our customers and have added a new stop in Mottaret. Now all our services from Geneva Airport to Mottaret will make a stop at Mottaret Centre and Mottaret Le Hameau.

The Hameau area includes accommodations such as Residence Le Lac Blanc, Les Logis du Meribel, Residence Club Odalys Le Hameau de Mottaret and VVF Le Fontany a Meribel. There are also 2 hotels, Les Arolles and Hotel Tarentaise close by.

The area of Hameau is above the centre of Mottaret and so previously customers would have to take the shuttle bus to get from our stop in the centre up to the Le Hameau sector. The problem is that in the early hours of the morning and late in the evening, the shuttle bus might not have been working, which meant a bit of a walk. So our services will make a stop on the roundabout at the top of the road, so it’s just a very short walk to many of the large accommodations centres in Le Hameau. Click on the map to view a larger version.

Our services from Grenoble Airport and Lyon Airport still only make stops at Moutiers, but from here you can use public buses or taxis to take you onto your accommodation.

Our cheap shared ski transfers from Geneva Airport will continue to make stops at Meribel and Meribel Village, Les Allues and Brides Les Bains.

We hope you can make use of this new stop and that it will enhance your holiday experience.

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Charity Donations from Ben’s Bus Customers

Posted 29th April 2022

BEN’S BUS CUSTOMERS HELP GENERATE £1, 200 FOR CHARITY

 

bens bus airport ski transfers charitiesThank you to all our customers who opted in to donate 25p to charity when they booked their ski transfer in the 2021 / 2022 ski season. As promised, Ben’s Bus has matched the total amount donated by our customers. This year our passengers generated £581.50 in charitable contributions, so we’ve rounded that up to £600 and doubled it, to make a total of £1,200.

We’d like to send out a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all our customers who travelled from Geneva Airport, Grenoble Airport or Lyon Airport and opted in to give to charity.

 

This year, Ben’s Bus has also donated an additional £300 to the British Red Cross to help those unfortunate enough to be caught up in the Ukraine refugee crisis. We hope they will be able to return back to a peaceful home soon.

 

WHERE THE MONEY GOES

 

We gave £300 to SolarAid, which helps poorest Africans use their natural resources to improve their lives with minimal impact on the environment.

We gave £300 to WaterAid, a charity helping to deliver clean water and sanitation to people around the world.

We gave £300 to Shelter, a UK homelessness organisation.

We will give £300 to The British Ski & Snowboard National Foundation, which helps fund young Great British skiing talent. We are awaiting confirmation from them on how to pay.

Our Environment and Charitable Donations page can tell you more about our Policy for Charities.

A huge thank you from our chosen charities and and from Ben’s Bus to all of you who donated. Hopefully next year we can generate even more money! Stay safe in these difficult times and and we hope to see you again next season.

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How to Avoid French Holiday Ski Resort Traffic

DRIVING TO THE ALPS FOR THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS? READ OUR TOP TIPS ON BEATING THE TRAFFIC

 

Avoid School Holiday Traffic French Alps Ski TransferIf you’ve driven to a French ski resort or taken a transfer during the school holidays, you’ve probably experienced some heavy traffic on the way to the Alps. Bottlenecks can form at places like motorway toll stations, and when 2 lanes turn into the 1-lane mountain roads, causing huge tailbacks. If it’s snowing, things can get really messy as vehicles pull over to put chains on or, even worse, lose control and cause an accident.

It can be a stressful start and end to your holiday – but it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve created some top tips to help you avoid spending half a day stuck in a traffic jam.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE WORST DATES TO TRAVEL?

 

Worst dates to travel to french ski resortsThe French take holidaying as seriously as they take striking. Hats off to them, because they are pretty professional about it. They get 2 weeks off for Christmas and then another 2 weeks for February half term. In February they split the country up into 3 zones, each one taking a different 2 week period. This spreads the load evenly, but it means there are a total of 8 Saturdays in the winter season when the traffic can be pretty nasty.

Here’s a list of dates when you should expect a lot of cars on the road. You should plan your journey more carefully on these dates and take some precautions to make sure you don’t get caught out.

 

HEADING UP THE MOUNTAIN

 

Traffic up the mountain18th, 19th & 26th December 2021 – Christmas Day falls on a Saturday in 2021, so lots of people will probably travel on Sunday.

5th, 12th, 19th & 26th February 2022 – The 12th & 19th February will be particularly bad, as 2 zones in France are on holiday.

 

HEADING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN

 

Traffic down the mountain26th December & 1st & 2nd January – The January dates may not be that bad this year as the traffic may be spread over 2 days.

12th, 19th & 26th February and 5th March – The 19th & 26th February will be the worst dates.

 

 

BE PREPARED – BRING PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER

 

Food and Water on Ski Transfer JourneyHowever you are getting to and from the resort, whether it be on a shared ski transfer with Ben’s Bus, a private transfer or driving in your own car, make sure you have enough food and water, especially if you are diabetic. Keep any medicines in your hand luggage and make use of the toilets before you get into your vehicle.

It’s not unusual for an airport transfer from Geneva to Tignes to take 5 or even 6 hours instead of the usual 3 & 1/2 hours. So bring a book, some games for the kids and lots of pre-downloaded videos to view on your device.

 

 

AVOID THE MOUNTAIN ROADS BETWEEN 8AM – 2PM

 

Snail's Pace Mountain TrafficPlan your journey in advance. If you’re heading up to the resort, try to get to Grenoble or Albertville by 9am. Between 11am and 3pm the roads climbing the mountain can be moving at a snail’s pace. When leaving the resort, try to do it before 07:30 or after 14:00. The worst areas are between Bourg St Maurice – Moutiers (transfers from Val Thorens & Les Menuires don’t take that road), the Rocade Sud ring road south of Grenoble and the Lyon and Chambery peages are also quite congested.

If you’re on a Ben’s Bus leaving Grenoble, Geneva or Lyon Airports between 10am – 4pm, you will probably hit some heavy traffic. Your Ben’s Bus eTicket will mention if we have allowed extra time for your journey. If you are heading to La Plagne, Les Arcs, Val d’Isere or Tignes, our drivers may have to take a legal break en-route. This is to comply with EU legislation and is designed to protect all road users. Use the facilities at the airport or in the resort before you leave as not all of our vehicles have toilets. If you need to go en-route, just ask the driver to pull over at the next convenient place.

 

 

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE IS GOLD!

 

Ben's Bus Ski Transfer VehiclesBook your ski transfer with a reputable and established company. Ben’s Bus has been working in the mountains for 15 years and works with local coach companies. Our drivers know the cheeky short cuts and how to avoid the bottlenecks. Our coordinators consult traffic websites and traffic cameras and our drivers and reps report where the roads are congested.

Top Tip: Don’t rely completely on Sat-Nav as it might try to take you across mountain passes that are closed in the winter!

 

 

CHOOSE YOUR DATES WISELY

 

French School Holiday Dates

The easiest way to avoid the rush and the crowds is to take your ski holiday in January or March. You’ll also get cheaper deals on accommodation and the queues for the ski lifts will be much smaller. Plus, you’ll get that table at your favourite restaurant! This website is a good source of information about school holidays in France https://about-france.com/school-holidays.htm Of course if you have kids in school, then that’s not possible.

Posted 4th March 2021

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