Faire le pont!

We may be part of the EU, at least for now, but each country still has its own separate bank holidays. It is bad enough with driving bans throughout France over the weekends, as a quick read of Aboutfrance.com demonstrates:

Additional Summer weekend HGV bans in France.

The weekend truck ban is longer from early July to mid August, when HGVs are banned from Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and then from Saturday 10 p.m. to Sunday 10 p.m. In other words, during these July and August weekends, there is a 3 hour window of opportunity on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for HGVs to reach their destination or get out of France to a country without weekend HGV bans.”

You also need to negotiate through the various bank holidays. It is always good to check this, and factor it in to transit times before you promise the world to your customer. Keep in mind that, quite often, a bank holiday in Europe on Thursday or Tuesday means the country may do what is called “the bridge” – meaning that companies often shut on the Friday as well following a bank holiday on a Thursday. Likewise, hauliers may not attempt any deliveries during bank holidays or bridge days.

The expression in France is “faire le pont” meaning doing the bridge – not to be confused with planking and definitely less stressful!