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neilcvx

The French road myth.

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Whilst I do agree the road quality in France is generally of a higher quality than in the UK  on our last trip to Plerin I cycled on some truly shocking roads real bone crunchers, wondering if it’s just a Breton thing or do other French departments have pothole issues? 

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That wasn’t a very helpful post by me, so Il’ll try to be more objective.

Having just done a south to north (& return) trip, I feel that I can make some realistic observations.

Motorways in France are generally excellent, but as we all know, there’s nothing approaching the volume of heavy traffic on the French side.  To be fair, our experience wasn’t that bad in the UK.

Major ‘A’ roads?  To be frank, decidedly iffy in the UK.  Experienced some crashing potholes within an hour or so of disembarking at Pompey.  I can only speak for the area where we live, but nothing remotely resembling that down here.

’B’ roads?  Not much difference between the two.  Except the drivers!  Bonkers over here.

 

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The roads in the Vendee are excellent.The roads in that we use in Dorset and Hampshire are not good at all to say the least.                                                                                                                     Why is it? 

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I think that its nothing more than the volume of traffic and the quality of re-surfacing over here.

Whatever I say here, strictly applies to our local area here in the deep south & it may very well not apply elsewhere in France.

The major road from A to B has been completely re-done over the last 9 months (out of season).  When I say re-done, I mean stripped back by 15cms or so and completely re-tarmaced.  Not a bodge.

It’ll last for a decade at least without any attention.

But  ......... its nothing anywhere near like the volume of traffic in most UK roads (happily !!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I know the salting of roads and water ingress that freezing expanding etc etc has a very detrimental effect on road surfaces I presume freezing temperatures aren’t as much of a problem in the south of France.

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The main road from the A1, the A59 & A658 into Harrogate had the top layer removed 6 months ago, they still haven't applied the top covering of tarmac. Most of the main & side roads in this town and Knaresborough are horrendous due to it being bumper to bumper 12 hours a day.

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18 hours ago, neilcvx said:

I know the salting of roads and water ingress that freezing expanding etc etc has a very detrimental effect on road surfaces I presume freezing temperatures aren’t as much of a problem in the south of France.

Well, contrary to the general view of Winter weather down here, it can get pretty cold (-4C is quite normal) and snow comes along every few years - we had a dose in Feb !

However, the salting (and gritting) of roads is considered to be an irrelevence, so everything gets pretty chaotic when we get what you would probably describe as a “light dusting”.

 

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Over here in Gascony, we generally see a day or two at -7°, but it can go down much lower than that. We have seen -14°. Official records go far lower. But winter is short, and the snow doesn't usually hang around for long.

We're prone to thunderstorms at the moment, and torrential deluges which are brutally hammering the newly planted summer bedding. It seems to have been like this for days, and is forecast to continue.

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1 hour ago, Gardian said:

Well, contrary to the general view of Winter weather down here, it can get pretty cold (-4C is quite normal) and snow comes along every few years - we had a dose in Feb !

However, the salting (and gritting) of roads is considered to be an irrelevence, so everything gets pretty chaotic when we get what you would probably describe as a “light dusting”.

 

Not only the South of France - we have experienced zero temperatures in winter in the South of Spain - French motorways are very good and so are Spanish motorways - and normally much  less congestion than driving on UK Motorways.

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A lot of our minor roads in France are much worse supported at the sides, tending to tilt into nasty ditches, with very pitted surface away from the crown of the road.

Then there are towns like Dinard, to take just one example, where spending on road maintenance has been trivial for years, and it shows. Each commune makes its choices with budgets, and some just prioritise other things than roads.

Best roads I have driven on in years are all over Shetland. A little oil helps ....

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I think there’s a bit difference between a few days of cold weather and weeks on end of snow and sub zero temperatures, the damage the Beast from the East did is well documented, the best roads I have driven on is around Royal Deeside near Balmoral a little royalty helps .

I’m hoping the roads around St Emilion are in a better state than they were around Plerin.

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Amazing what big business can get , there’s a lovely road from where I stay up one of the local valleys was in a terrible state until it was resurfaced and partially widened to allow the logging lorries to get up safely and it’s a good cycling road as it’s fairly quiet.

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On 29/05/2018 at 23:25, jonno said:

The main road from the A1, the A59 & A658 into Harrogate had the top layer removed 6 months ago, they still haven't applied the top covering of tarmac. Most of the main & side roads in this town and Knaresborough are horrendous due to it being bumper to bumper 12 hours a day. 

Wow... To think I positively relish going north over Harewood or Pool Bridges as the road surface on the Harrogate side is usually in altogether better condition than on the Leeds side! 😮

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Pottering round here in the car pax seat recently I have become a bit more sympathetic to the councils (unusual for me) as the plain fact is that most ( I'd say 75%) of the serious potholes round here here pretty obviously originate with badly reinstated privatised utility company work trenches.

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