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Route Advice For Driving To Austria

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm after some route advice please.
Calais via Munich and on to Austria is the general plan. Resort not fixed yet but may be looking at Filzmoos or another one of the Ski Amade area resorts.
Driving time would be overnight from Calais on a Friday half term, leaving Calais just after midnight.
The first route suggested via Sat nav is:-

A26/E17 Calais – Reims Autoroute Des Anglais
A4/E50 Autoroute L’est
A35 towards Karlsruhe
A8/E52 Past Stuttgart to Munich
A8/E52/E60 towards Salzburg

I heard other suggestions that go via Belgium, on the Sat Nav this ended up plotting a route via Frankfurt, Wurzburg and Nuremburg.
I’m open to suggestions.
Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Driving thru the night? or stopping over somewhere en route and continuing on Saturday am?

I'd be tempted to go Calais-Brussels-Köln-Frankfurt-Mannheim-Heilbronn-Stuttgart-Munich or if you need cheap fuel and fancy breaking up the monotony of autoroute/autobahn then Calais-Charleroi-Luxembourg-Pirmasens-crosscountry-Karlsruhe-Munich. Would probably avoid A3 Frankfurt-Nuremburg (think they're completely rebuilding the autobahn?)
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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mikes21, I have a route that I use on a regular basis to drive backand forth to the UK from the Salzburg area and it is pretty well idiot proof. It is based on many years of experimenting with different routes and finally coming up with the shortest and quickest. It also has several alternatives built in should you find a problem along the way.

PM me and I'll send you the details.

wink
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Last year I did Dunkerque>Bruselles>Bonn>Mannheim>Munchen>Kitzbuhel. Got an afternoon ferry, stayed in Mannheim on the way down and arrived in Kitzbuhel for lunch. It was a very pleasant drive. On the way home did the same route in reverse but did it in a day.
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We drive down through the night to Austria a few times each year. We normally start from Dunkerque at 01:00 and drive through the night with no overnight stop. Share the driving between the two of us and normally arrive in the Hintertux area around 15:00/16:00 with a few refuel/loo/coffee stops. All depends on traffic and weather though! Tried a few different route options over the years. We now always go via Brussels, Liege and on towards Aachen E40 and onto the A4. Did go via Köln and onto A3 via Frankfurt, Würzburg and Nuremburg but there are now a lot of roadworks on this motorway so we have reverted to taking the A61, A6, A5, A8 route again. Coming back to the UK we drive the same route leaving early morning and arrive back later that evening. Have tried the Luxemburg and cross country route to Karlsruhe but prefer motoring down the autobahn when doing the journey overnight.
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Thanks for the advice. We'll try to avoid the Frankfurt, Würzburg and Nuremburg if there are a lot of road works.
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Done the route last year to alpachtel. We went via Brussels Luxembourg primasens cross country then picked up the motorway via Munich and into Austria armed with vignette. We left calais around midnight and pulled into the resort to have lunch at the bottom of the slopes at about 1 pm. No traffic at all for the whole route. However the year before we got caught in morning rush hour traffic just before Luxembourg at about 6-7 am on a weekday.
Get you fuel at Luxembourg and also Austria as its cheaper than Germany.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
mikes21, I use most of the route that daveqpr, uses and agree with the fuel-stop in Luxembourg. The prices of fuel in German autobahn service areas is simply taking the pi$$.

I do not use the Brussels section though - I go south to Lille on the A25, then follow Tournai, Mons Charleroi and turn south to Luxembourg at Namur. The non-autobahn section between Pirmaesens and the A5 near Karlsruhe can be problematic, especially if you hit in bad weather. Many trans-European trucks now use it to save on the motorway tolls they have to pay on German autobahns. In good weather and day light it is a beautiful section as it takes you through one of the special forest areas and Natural Parks as well as some of the Rheinland-Pflaz wine areas.

I tried the Brussels route on the advice of people here last November and added a good 2 hours to my trip, missing my ferry in the process. Never again. Evil or Very Mad
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mikes21, I drove UK Austria last week. Did the Brussels, Luxembourg route. First time I've diverted through Lux for cheaper diesel. Was 1.19 as opposed to around 1.35-.1,50 on autobahns. Had a one hour delat around Lux due to an accident and then on the german side the autobahn goes down to single lane and a roundabout. Hit this is rush hour so another delay. If you want cheaper fuel and driving through the night then maybe worth taking in Lux. Around Brussels is the Ring 0 (M25 like). Every time I've done it's been quite good, busy but keeps moving, I've heard people say it can be a bottleneck but not my experience. My trip south last Friday overall ws hard work as very busy on german autobahns from 7:30am until I crossed into Austria at about 3. I think it was a holiday weekend.
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Quote:

Around Brussels is the Ring 0 (M25 like). Every time I've done it's been quite good, busy but keeps moving, I've heard people say it can be a bottleneck but not my experience.

That's my experience, of many journeys around it. Typically 10-15mins to get round it. Only bottleneck I recall was when the police coned off the junction down to 1 lane to allow crane to remove upside down car from the wrong side of the barrier. And the turn off back on to E40 on the E side of Brussels can be a 5min PITA where you need to get a couple of lanes to the right, and all the people in those lanes need to get a few lanes to the left, but your satnav won't give instructions until half way thru.
If going the Luxembourg way then Samerberg Sue's way makes more sense.

Quote:

very busy on german autobahns .... I think it was a holiday weekend.

It was. Which was why I decided to skip a trip to Switzerland. Especially as I'd hit Karlsruhe and the string of roadworks south of there at rush hour.
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Hi Mikes21,

Any chance in sharing your idiot proof route from Calais to Austria wink ? Off to Ischgl in Feb. Thanks!
Jas
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
When I drive to Austria, I use the Sammerberg Sue route too. My only reservation is the motorway from Munich to Stuttgart is one huge set of roadworks when I drove it in May. It was a total joke! On the way back, we went via Nuremburg, Frankfurt, Koln and into Belguim to avoid it.

Cheers
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Ischgl's at the wrong end of Austria for the Munich route, but as far as Ulm is the same.
I think the roadworks are between Stuttgart and Ulm on the A8?
If that bit is dire carnage, then the modified Samerberg Sue route but going from Luxembourg via Kaiserslauten-Mannheim-Heilbronn and down the A7/A96 towards Bregenz may make sense. The complete Mannheim-Bregenz section going that way was totally clear in June, but is a bit longer.


edit: saying all that... the usual traffic sites are no longer showing that 30km set of roadworks on A8 Stuttgart-Munich section
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You know it makes sense.
Well I'll be driving out between Christmas and Yew year, I'm hoping that it will be fairly quiet. Not looking forward to the sleeping bag kip in the front seat again though.
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Scarpa wrote:
Well I'll be driving out between Christmas and Yew year,


Hope you spruce yourself up a bit, Scarpa..... Toofy Grin Laughing wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Kersh, summer is a bad time for roadworks here in Bavaria as it is one of the few periods where they can actually work for the length of time required to actually maintain the roads to a good enough standard. You were lucky with the A9/A3 route as there are some massive road works along them now - from Garching-Nord (just north of Munich) to the Höllertau interchange (A9/A93 split) it is stop-go every day in both directions. The stretch between Würzburg and Frankfurt-Hanau is commonly referred to as "accident corner" on the Bavarian radio road reports (around Markt Heidenfeld and Wertheim). There are currently roadworks between Frankfurt Hanau and Oberthausen that are causing major hold ups too.

As this is a somewhat "elderly" thread, I'd like to point out that the route from Luxembourg to Germany is now motorway the whole length as the A13 link from south of Luxembourg city has been completed. The B10 road through the Pfälzer National Park (Pirmaesen to Landau in der Pfalz) has been improved as well and is being further developed as far as I understand it to "Schnellstrasse" standard (fast dual carriageway) for its entire length as well.
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Samerberg Sue, whats your current favourite route? We've been driving to the Arlberg for the past few years but seems to be getting busier
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Samerberg Sue, you're right, it was marginally better going through Nuremburg! wink
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The Frankfurt A3 roadworks are due to finish in October. The A8 carnage reported here and the other thread, in theory must have disappeared recently (my satnav told me in June that there was big delays, but the stau sites now show nothing).

for any of the route variations, anything can change between now and the ski season. even then, I check immediately before setting off, not so much for the roadworks, but for any reported accidents.

We need a FAQ on this site.
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kitenski, it will always be busy on Saturdays in the ski season. The question is not so much which route to take, but what time to take it. If you get the timings wrong you're fooked whichever way you go. Toofy Grin The fact that they have opened up the second tunnel under Bregenz means that the Blockanfertigung that used to cause major hold ups both sides of Bregenz means that the traffic flows more freely in that part.

There are several web sites I use for planning my routes by looking to see where the roadworks are: http://www.tomtom.com/livetraffic/ is a good one as is: http://www.verkehrsinfo.de/index.php?menuselect=0&Itemid=0&UIN=&showmap=1. The Verkehrsinfo site also gives the dates of the roadworks, so you can tell if they are scheduled to be in place at the time of your journey.

Your biggest enemy though is the fat cat in the big car who feels that they have divine right of passage and drive up the tailgate of the cars in front. They cause the accidents that snarl up the whole system. The other frequent cause of accidents is the tired northerners trailing caravans or just simply driving down from God knows where in Denmark or the Netherlands straight after a full day's work. They fall asleep at the wheel all too often, particularly in our neck of the woods. No amount of planning can take that into account. I listen to the road reports in Germany, Belgium and northern France and make adjustments accordingly.
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We are going Easter Tuesday so hopefully won't be too bad....must remember to check those links before leaving.....
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kitenski, I'll be going back on 8th March, can let you know then but at all costs avoid the A8 west of Ulm/ Stuttgart, mahoosive roadworks until 2017. Brussels, Aachen, Koblenz, Frankfurt, Wurzburg, Ulm is best route currently due to roadworks down the Rhine.

I agree with Sue, we always drive through the night to avoid traffic, and never on Saturdays.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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roadworks where?

I did the route via Koblenz 3 weeks ago and it was big jams, with 3 lots of longterm roadworks all near Mainz. A3 via Köln on the way back was fine (there are a few roadworks but they were barely noticeable)

A8 stuttgart-ulm isn't showing on the travel sites linked above - at least the huge 30km ones aren't, a couple of small ones are, plus the tunnel at Drachenstein that's closed for maintenance for 2 days.

best to check back here at the start of the ski season... then we'll have a better idea
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I've rarely had problems with hold ups due to roadworks when travelling to/from the Arlberg the past few seasons (although I don't use Calais, I start on the continent from Rotterdam and the overnight Hull ferry), but then I'm not travelling during ski season. Yes they've been there and the traffic slows, but nothing like the stationary/slow crawl you get in the UK.
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andy, Yep the A61 has major bridge problems as well as long sections that need resurfacing if I remember correctly. It's a long term project according to the ADAC site and the bridge over the Moselle at Dieblich is going to prove "interesting"! They will ave finished some of the resurfacing by the time the winter kicks in but the bridges may not be finished and the work mothballed until the weather is more conducive. That will mean the 80km/h limit will stay in place all winter.

Most of the roadworks down this way this summer have had to do with bringing bridges built in the 60s, 70s and 80s up to scratch. PITA for us commuters but we accept the warnings and slow down in time. If every one did that then the 80k/h speed limit would keep traffic moving. Sadly so many people who never drive long distances except to go on their holidays ignore the warnings, then slam the brakes on as they see the narrowing of the lanes. Just about every day we have a shunt causing a back up of traffic. Saw a classic one this morning on my way into Rosenheim: some supercharged idiot in a black BMW SUV had misjudged the speed reduction of the person in front of him (I think) and pulled across (I'm bigger than you get out of my way style) to the narrower lane and caused a shunt blocking both lanes as a result. Luckily for me it was on the other side, but the traffic backed up very quickly and within a few minutes was at least 5kms long and getting longer as I drove off at my exit.

BTW Bavarian police are measuring (or checking maybe online) the width of vehicles involved in incidents in roadworks. People seem to forget that width means from the outside of passenger door mirror to the outside of the driver's one. My car for example is only 179.4 cms door to door, but when you measure the mirrors it is 204.2cms! So I am ultra cautious right now about driving in the 2m or under narrow lane. Little Angel Little Angel
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@Samerberg Sue, Hi Sue - Im a old veteran skier off to the dolomites for the season. Would really appreciate any advice on route Calais to Val di Fassa. Thanks in advance
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@Emo, welcome to snowheads. Sadly Sue passed away...but her spirit lives on. Someone will be along with suggestions
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Sad to here that- thank you for letting me know.
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@Emo, assuming the most sensible approach to the Val di Fassa is to go over the Brenner pass and then via Bozen / Bolzano suggested route from Calais as follows. Calais - Dunkerque - Lille - Tournai - Mons - Namur - Luxembourg (cheap petrol, better to stop at Schengen just off A13 rather than services on Motorway) - Saarlouis / A8 - I would go via Pirmasens / Landau / Karlsruhe but gps probably take you via Kaiserslautern / Mannheim / Heilbronn - Stuttgart - Ulm - Memmingen - Bregenz (dont forget to buy vignette for Austria) - Feldkirch - Arlberg - Innsbruck - Brenner - Sterzing - Bozen then over local roads to Val di Fassa.
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Thank you so much for that. Do you use that route mainly to avoid the tolls or do you find it quicker/easier? I'll be travelling most likely on my own so I had thought of the southern route via Reims,Metz, Strasbourg . Just thought taking hit on the the toll roads may reduce driver fatigue on my old bones? I'd be really greatful for any pointers on that. Thanks again for taking the time to pen such a detailed response. Have a great season
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 Poster: A snowHead
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There are a thousand different route options. The one @munich_irish suggests would probably be my recommendation (but I don't do the Luxembourg bit when I drive to Calais, since to/from where I live would be a bit of a diversion, so can't comment on that bit).

If you go via Reims/Metz/Strasbourg, then it spits you out in the wrong place in Germany, and you have to either go cross country, the "wrong way" back up towards Karlsruhe, or via Switzerland for an extra toll sticker. Reims/Metz/Saarbrucken and then pick up the remainder of the route above may make more sense if you prefer to pay a toll rather than get cheap fuel?

Assume it's a RHD car? I'd want to minimise toll booths, cos there's whatever French ones there are, 1 at Arlberg tunnel, 1 for Brenner pass (both abotu €10 each), then 2 toll machines for the Autostrada (probably about €5 for the Brenner-Bolzano/Egna/Ora section depending on the exact route). At least the Austrian sticker you can combine with a pit stop, and/or do all the Austrian bits online, and hope the numberplate recognition works, but do this at least 14 or 18 or whatever days in advance.

edit: forgot to mention... when joining the Karlsruhe-Pforzheim bit, get out of the slow lane asap, and avoid the trucks doing 1kmh uphill (iirc there's roadworks there), and at Ulm don't take the diversion thru Ulm but stay on Autobahn (and there are definitely roadworks there).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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The Autoroutes are generally pretty quiet (I guess because they are so expensive) but as Andy has pointed out going via Riems / Metz does involved a fair diversion to get into Germany or Switzerland though you could easily enough join my route at Saarbrücken if you have a preference for driving in France. The road between Namur and Luxembourg is generally reasonably quiet until you get to the junction with road from Liege. Luxembourg can be busy better to take the A4 / Esch sur Alzette road to A13 rather than A3.

You can buy the Austrian Vignette and also the Arlberg and Brenner tolls on line (say you are a business to avoid the 2 week wait) but not sure it is worth the faff. If you buy it at the services at the border near Bregenz you should also be able to buy a "video maut" for the Brenner and Arlberg which saves time fumbling for cards or change. If you are going to go use the peage in France then it is probably worth signing up for one of the automatic boxes which cover Italy as well see https://www.telepass.com/en/private-owners (think there are other versions too)


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 6-12-19 12:38; edited 1 time in total
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I do the Luxembourg route annually on the way to Austria, and prefer it to the Brussels/Aachen route or anything through France. Lille-Mons-Namur-Luxembourg is really pretty simple, and the only part which seems slow is Pirmasens-Landau on the minor road through the hills, but even that has been improved now.
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The road works round Mons should be avoided if possible. Ive been caught up on them the last two years. Cut off before and take the corner off going via Beaumont, Givet
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Quote:

I do the Luxembourg route annually on the way to Austria, and prefer it to the Brussels/Aachen route or anything through France. Lille-Mons-Namur-Luxembourg is really pretty simple, and the only part which seems slow is Pirmasens-Landau on the minor road through the hills, but even that has been improved now.

I'm with that ..I usually leave early (10am ferry) and aim to stop at Pirmasens then do the rest the next day ...the advantages ,,no tolls and good roads through to Austria and a tank of cheap fuel in Lux ..the only time I went via Munich I got caught up in real heavy traffic so I now go via Ulm and Kempten ...which can have problems also if it snows like last season..but if you want to be safe there is always the Landau tunnel...

Last season coming back from Madonna the Brenner was shut and I came back via Merano and Nauders...a very pleasant run and you dont need a vignette...
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Be flexible and don't get hung up on a toll costs or route until you leave the ferry. The costs are immaterial vs the cost of a ski holiday.

Rely on navigation with Google maps / via Michelin or any other live navigation system.

I've crawled through traffic in Germany for hours, and travelled along free flowing French auto routes, it cost a few Euro but turn the cost into pints and it's not a lot.
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Be flexible and don't get hung up on a toll costs or route until you leave the ferry. The costs are immaterial vs the cost of a ski holiday.

Rely on navigation with Google maps / via Michelin or any other live navigation system.

I've crawled through traffic in Germany for hours, and travelled along free flowing French auto routes, it cost a few Euro but turn the cost into pints and it's not a lot.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

e flexible and don't get hung up on a toll costs or route until you leave the ferry. The costs are immaterial vs the cost of a ski holiday.

Rely on navigation with Google maps / via Michelin or any other live navigation system.

I've crawled through traffic in Germany for hours, and travelled along free flowing French auto routes, it cost a few Euro but turn the cost into pints and it's not a lot.

ski holidays Fri 06 Dec, 19
23:10 Reply with quote



Its a 10+hour trip non stop from Calais to Innsbruck thats after crossing the Channel so unless you have 2 drivers I wouldn't recommend it ..and the tolls cost €50..each way also I have never had a holdup getting through to Southern Germany ..I have had them getting into Austria ..it seems foolish to me that you wouldn't at least PLAN a route as sat navs of any sort CAN be wrong and maybe €100 is inconsequential but then maybe not.... Puzzled


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 11-12-19 8:53; edited 1 time in total
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rnick wrote:
Be flexible and don't get hung up on a toll costs or route until you leave the ferry. The costs are immaterial vs the cost of a ski holiday.

Rely on navigation with Google maps / via Michelin or any other live navigation system.

I've crawled through traffic in Germany for hours, and travelled along free flowing French auto routes, it cost a few Euro but turn the cost into pints and it's not a lot.


I always find the French toll roads a pleasant drive, as long as I manage to ignore how much its costing. Germany/Belgium seem to be a bit hit and miss. Definitely busier, so more likely to hit queues if there's an accident or roadworks. On that, driving down through Germany at Easter this year the Germans seemed to be spring cleaning the autobahn. Lots of temporary roadworks with guys out with pressure washers. Nice to see, but not when you've been sat in a queue for half an hour for the 4th or 5th time.

In 2 weeks time we'll be on our way down to Austria again, Schladming this time. Arrive in Calais on sun 22nd, should be in Schladming on 23rd with an overnight on the way (motorhome, so just pull off at a convenient stellplatz). Any major roadworks on the Calais.. Namur.. Lux.. Stuttgart.. Munich.. Salzburg route we should be aware of? Are they still working on the Stuttgart to Ulm section ? (not that it seems to affect the traffic too much).
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There are some roadworks, but nothing like the length of some of them in previous years. To be expected when they're basically upgrading the entire length from Karlsruhe to Munich. The usual stau sites suggest some of those roadworks end in the next week or 2. I've only done Frankfurt-Bregenz recently, so no idea about Ulm-Munich-Salzburg section.

IME it's not roadworks that cause jams... they flow spot on 80km/h. They're just depressing and and you can't wait to get to the end. In 15 years of living here, I honestly cannot remember a single jam that was due to roadworks, and in almost every single one I'll be in with the trucks cos the lane's slightly wider, and it stops me gradually speeding up to 90+ in an 80 zone. They were all due to accidents or apparently random and cleared with no obvious cause whatsoever.
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