Drivers who use mobile phones in the car are now breaking the law even if they pull over, switch off the engine and put hazard lights on. Under a new law to reduce road deaths, it is now illegal to use your phone at the wheel unless you are using a hands-free set or are parked in a designated parking space. Drivers who flout the ban face a €135 fine and three licence points.
Toll charges have gone up on France’s motorways to cover the cost of maintaining and improving the network. Motorists face a rise of 1-2% on busy roads and as much as 4% on quieter routes.
Bike hire company Gobee.bike has shut down operations in Paris and other French cities after vandals and thieves destroyed its fleet. Launched in France last year, the service enabled smartphone users in Paris, Lille, Reims and Lyon to unlock a nearby bike and rent it for 50 cents an hour. However, the Hong Kong start-up has now pulled out of France, saying that 3,000 of its bikes have been damaged and over 1,000 stolen.
Travellers to Paris can now get swift answers to any questions they have about staying in the French capital thanks to a round-the-clock helpline. The Paris City Helpline is accessed through a smartphone app and costs €5 a day to use. This covers unlimited calls and live messages to a ‘city helper’ who can advise on transport, tourist attractions and restaurant reservations.
Air France is introducing a new route from Paris-charles to Gaulle to Perpignan for this summer season. The operator’s domestic service HOP! will run five flights a week, from 16 July to 2 September, with one-way tickets starting at €44.
Air France flights were disrupted in February when pilots, cabin crew and ground staff held a one-day strike to demand a 6% pay rise and protest about job losses and workloads.
Eurostar has pledged to go fossil fuel-free by 2030 and to halve its plastic consumption within the next two years. The train company made the commitments as part of a 10-point environmental plan in line with the 2016 Paris climate agreement. It will introduce an electric fleet by 2020 and aim to power all its rail journeys exclusively on green energy within 12 years.