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Em­manuel Macron has vowed to press on with con­tro­ver­sial fuel taxes, de­spite vi­o­lent protests that have rocked France and left two peo­ple dead. The French pres­i­dent said he sym­pa­thised with the so-called ‘ gilets jaunes’ (yel­low vests), the high-vis­i­bil­ity vest-wear­ing demon­stra­tors who have block­aded roads and petrol de­pots to protest at fuel tax rises. But he in­sisted he would not aban­don the pol­icy, al­though the tax could be revised dur­ing pe­ri­ods when fuel prices were pro­hib­i­tively high. Re­fer­ring to a cli­mate change march in Septem­ber, he added: “You can­not be pro-en­vi­ron­ment on Mon­day and then when Tues­day comes be against ris­ing fuel prices”. Con­ges­tion charges will not be in­tro­duced in France’s ma­jor ci­ties in the near fu­ture, fol­low­ing op­po­si­tion from may­ors and mo­torists. The pro­posal has been dropped from draft trans­port law that was set to in­tro­duce tolls sim­i­lar to the con­ges­tion charge in Lon­don. The gov­ern­ment backed down af­ter the may­ors of Paris, Bordeaux, Nice and Mar­seille all op­posed the idea. How­ever, in a sep­a­rate rul­ing, min­is­ters in Paris have voted that diesel ve­hi­cles reg­is­tered be­fore 2001 will no longer be per­mit­ted to drive in 79 com­munes in the Greater Paris area from July.

Tourists have been warned to be aware of a taxi scam which saw a cou­ple from Thai­land charged five times the stan­dard fare from Charles de Gaulle air­port to the cen­tre of Paris. Of­fi­cial taxis in the cap­i­tal are obliged to charge a flat rate fee for tourists leav­ing the air­port, with jour­neys to the Right Bank of Paris capped at €50 and jour­neys to the Left Bank capped at €55. The Thai cou­ple were charged €247. Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

Hy­dro­gen-pow­ered trains are to be tri­alled in Nou­velle-aquitaine in the hope that ser­vices can be up and run­ning com­mer­cially by 2022. The trains will be tested on the Bordeaux-soulac, An­goulêmeSaintes-royan, Bordeaux-berg­erac-sar­lat and Bordeaux-périgueux-li­mo­ges lines. Ger­many has had hy­dro­gen trains in com­mer­cial use since Septem­ber.

No con­ges­tion charge for Paris

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