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motoring

French Road Trip – Where are the potholes??

A driving holiday in France… Pounding down a near perfect traffic free motorway?

No, not this time…

We set out on a road trip, travelling the length of France but using only N and D roads, the equivalent of mostly single carriageway B roads with just a few dual carriageway A roads.

We managed a 1250 mile journey in 11 leisurely days, staying a few days with friends who live in an idyllic farmhouse in the south of France.

So why am I telling you this? (To make everyone left back in the office jealous? – Ed)

Like the old exam ‘compare and contrast’ question, I was intrigued by the many differences in the quality of the French roads and our roads.

Our B roads are full of potholes… Poorly maintained by incompetent and unsupervised contractors.

The French have a deserved reputation for the high quality of their motorways/autoroutes, albeit many are toll roads.

BUT, the French N and D roads are paid for out of taxation, the same as ours.

The difference is there are NO potholes!! All of the roads we travelled on were in excellent condition, well maintained, and pothole free!

Perhaps French taxes are used more directly for the purpose they are raised, unlike in the UK where the billions you and I pay in road fund license, vat, fuel duties, etc, just disappear into the Chancellor’s lucky dip bag.

We motorists are (at the very least treated like) the scourge of the nation, but in reality the economy would collapse without us.

Graham Benge

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