The British Embassy in Paris has issued advice for people travelling to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day as extra security is in place due to the number of heads of states and royalty attending the events in coming days.
It says there will be tight security constraints and many ceremonies and sites in the region will have stringent access control put in place by the French authorities for Friday 06 June.
The main international ceremony will be held on Sword Beach in Ouistreham, Calvados. The main UK/French bi-national ceremony will be held within the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Bayeux, in Calvados.
There will also be ceremonies at locations such as Bayeux Cathedral, Arromanches, and Ranville. Other bilateral and national ceremonies will also be held on Juno Beach and Omaha Beach.
‘If you are planning individual travel, please be aware that if you do not have the required passes you will not be able to access some sites or ceremonies on 05 and0 6 June 2014,’ said an embassy spokesperson.
A controlled traffic zone (Zone de circulation régulé, ZCR) will be in place on 06 June from 6am to 6pm. Vehicles who do not have a sticker will not be allowed to enter the ZCR, which will stretch approximately from Ouistreham to Isigny sur Mer, and from the Channel to the south Bayeux ring road and to the northern edge of Caen.
In addition to the main ZCR, road closures will be in force on certain routes, particularly near commemoration sites. People are advised to follow diversions put in place by local authorities.
‘If you are travelling in the area by car, including through travel to and from Cherbourg ferry port, please take this into consideration when working out how much time you need to leave.
Hotel and other accommodation in the area will be difficult to obtain and you are unlikely to be able to book on the day anywhere in the region during these dates,’ the advice notice says.
Maritime restrictions will also be in force in the coastal waters around the area and ferry arrivals and departures will be affected at Caen-Ouistreham port. Brittany Ferries said it has contacted all passengers and advised them to allow extra time to get to and from the ferry ports.
There will be no commercial air transport into Caen-Carpiquet airport or Deauville-Saint-Gatien airport and Lorries are banned from the whole of Calvados on 06 June. Public road and rail transport will be operating as usual, although delays should be expected and The Caen bus terminal will be relocated for the day to avenue Pierre Mendes France.
In the RTZ traffic is restricted to local residents and their families, and people working in the area. ‘The aim is to facilitate and ensure the safety of official convoy traffic and the transport of veterans, invited guests and police and emergency services,’ said a spokesman for Calvados Council.
The RTZ will affect 145 communes, extending from Ouistreham to the Manche department and those wishing to move around, including permanent and temporary residents, their families, people with second homes, hotel guests and campsite residents will only be able to do so if they have a sticker pass displayed on their windscreen.
Access to the RTZ will be controlled by the police throughout the day of 06 June. Vehicles will be free to leave the zone.