Under threat (yet again) from obstructive, disgruntled union workers, French drivers use app.s and the net to keep driving."" />
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France motoring news, 2016

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another eussr attack on the motor car

The French version of the M.O.T. (le contrôle technique) is to be heavily upgraded from May2018.

This is an EUSSR 'directive'.

The number of checks made during the test are to rise from 124 to 400.

There will also be 100 critical faults which will forbid driving until 'corrected'. The example described is "a piece of plastic that is ready to fall". Drivers will have only one day to get repairs underway, a sticker to that effect being plastered on the windscreen.

And yet another fine of €135 if caught not having made required repairs.

Of course, the cost of the contrôle technique will rise.

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Tour de France 2018

penury of fuel - all 8 french refineries blockaded

  tracking down fuel  
  can this information be believed?  
  other areas of essentials supplies now being affected  

25 May 2016

The French government intends to introduce various amendments to employment law, called the Law on Work - la Loi de Travail, intended to make employing and stopping employing workers a bit less difficult to achieve.

As part of the protests against these changes, the largest French trade union, the CGT, has blockaded, currently, six out of eight national fuel refineries. Thus, fuel is gradually becoming less easy to find, with about 40% of service stations being affected.

  tracking down fuel

A smart phone app., and accompanying web site, usually used to compare prices at different service stations, is now being employed to show where stations are running short, or dry.

This page, updated in fairly real time, shows the availability of fuel at service stations, with those that are currently believed to be dry marked with a red bar.

Fuel-penury map of France
Heading translated: Stations in partial or total shortage: 4875 out of the 10254 recorded in Essence [app./website], or 47.5% of stations
Data supplied in real time by the Essence application community
Download the application and participate

There is a subsidiary page listing the service stations for which there are reports, by town name. This page gives the details of the station and which supplies have run out.

Part of fuel availabillity list, 25 May 2016
Part of fuel availability list, 25 May 2016

Since today, there is a further page showing which service stations have received new supplies.

Stations replenished map of France
Heading translated: Stations in partial re-supply: 1042 stations.
The indicated stations correspond to the station marked with shortages have fuel again.
The availability of fuel at each station changes continuously and are provided in real time by the community of the Essence application.
Download the application and participate

  can this information be believed?

It does seem too good to be true, French motorists co-operating to report where vehicle fuel is still available. After all, generally the French support trade unions and strikers 'fighting' against the 'oppression' of the government.

But, for a Frenchman, his (her) car is an extension of his being, vital not just for work, school or health transport, but also as a symbol of achievement. Of course, in the great stretches of rural France, the car is also an almost essential means for shopping, as well as much else.

However, the reporting of fuel availability in France by this web site does have problems. Here are some of them:

  • Competitors falsely reporting the fuel station down the road has run out;
  • the app. user reporting a station is not working because they visit when the place is shut;
  • the station is shut temporarily for technical reasons other than lack of fuel

It is for these sort of reasons that the second map was introduced, that shows where service stations have been recently replenished.

The French government is drawing on strategic stock-piles, or reserves, to help defuse the effects of the blockades.

As the name suggests, the strategic reserves are the stocks of oil held on French territory. Since 1925, France has put aside of petroleum products. It was originally to meet "the fuel needs of armies and, more generally, to ward off the consequences of a shortage of a versatile energy source essential to the economy," according to the Ministry of Environment website. Today, the oil reserves covers over 30% of French energy needs.

The fuel stocks should be at least, precisely, sixty-one days, but they often exceed that threshold. Up until Wednesday 25th May, three days stock out of the 115 days available had been used.

  other areas of essentials supplies now being affected

As well as the refinery blockades, the staff of 19 French nuclear plants have voted to strike for Thursday. The threat of power cuts looms.

However, a CGT union spokeswoman for the Federation of Energy and Mines said, "This action will cause decreases in load, but not stop the power plants. You can not stop a nuclear power plant like this, it's not like a power plant or a hydroelectric dam."

Besides the strike in nuclear power plants, personnel at least four conventional thermal power plants have also decided to stop working and there will be blocking a gas storage unit in the south of France.click to return to index

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