Subject: Re: French toll roads

My wife and I are from England, currently visiting the USA visiting my daughter who lives in California just north of Los Angeles at a place called Lancaster.

We have a motorhome and frequently visit France which we regard as a second home.

How do you recognise toll roads in France? Well, the only roads you pay for are the Autoroutes, which are numbered A1, A2 etc. All other roads are N (national) roads (N10 N5 etc.) or D (France is divided into Departments which are roughly equivalent to American counties) These are free.

As you approach an A road there will be a sign saying peage (Franch for pay) and you can expect a barrier roughly every few miles depending on location - there is no hard and fast rule. As someone else said, these are expensive.

So, if you want a laid back French holiday, why use them. The other roads are relatively free of traffic, are for the most part dead straight and pass through any number of interesting French towns and villages whaere you can stop, visit a boulangerie (baker) or a local winery, pass the time with local people and practice your school French. Contrary to opinion, the French will meet you half way with the language, often reverting to adequate English, but don't expect them to be fluent.

Passing through French towns is easy. Direction signs to major towns are green (blue on Autroutes) and local signs to villages etc. are white. As you enter a town look for the destination you want. If you don't see it, follow a sign saying Toutes directions (all directions) or Autres directions (other directions) and keep following them until you see the sign you want. Unlike America you will encouter lots of traffic roundabouts where the rule is simple - give way to traffic already on the roundabout. BE WARNED - in some places you will still have to give way to traffic emerging from a side road on the right - though is becoming rare.

Some of the Autoroutes are Free - and most in the vicinity of large towns are also free. But getting through France is exceptionally easy. Get yourself a Micheline map, they are excellent.

Have a good time and enjoy France. You won't be disappointed.