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German motorways stau

German motorways stau

Old Jun 10, 13, 2:48 am
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German motorways stau

Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone could help me with this:

We drive frequently to Germany (in-laws lives 30km from the German/Danish border) and we just came back from a driving trip to DUS area.

On our way down (June 2) we were basically stuck from Bremen on until we south of Osnabruck. On the way back (2 days ago) we were stuck again on A2 because there is a temporary closure of the motorway.

We tried to check online for all the Bausteller etc. but we can't get detail information about it. As we were about to drive the sites claimed that there is nothing on A1 and A2 but there are road work site and the temporary closure of A2.

Also we are thinking doing a driving trip down again sometimes in July and we are so worried about holiday traffic - stau.

Is it always like that on A1? Or which motorways are less packed? Is that a better website telling people about the road works/closures? When is the better time to avoid holiday traffic?

We were thinking about driving off hours - it worked but we can't always do that with 3 small kids - they are not so small that they can just sleep in the car.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jun 10, 13, 2:56 am
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Traffic on German Autobahns is pretty well documented, just look up a site like this: http://stau.info/autobahn/A1

In Summer construction and school vacations collide, so check http://www.schulferien.org/Schulferi...2013_Juni.html for more details on that. Northern Germany kicks off the season next week.
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Old Jun 10, 13, 4:26 am
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Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
Traffic on German Autobahns is pretty well documented, just look up a site like this: http://stau.info/autobahn/A1

In Summer construction and school vacations collide, so check http://www.schulferien.org/Schulferi...2013_Juni.html for more details on that. Northern Germany kicks off the season next week.
Yes that the site we checked, there is a huge road work right after the Danish border on A7 in Flensburg and it's not on stau.info. I also recalled something around Rendsburg that wasn't recorded.

My in-laws have some idea that Germans don't go on holiday until July 15, is that true?
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Old Jun 10, 13, 5:02 am
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Originally Posted by nacho View Post
My in-laws have some idea that Germans don't go on holiday until July 15, is that true?
German school holidays are staggered. Some states start as early as mid-June, some as late as the end of July. Bavaria always starts at the end of July, all other states take turns with early vs late starts.

This year it's the Northern states' turn to start early.

There are various web sites with tables of school holiday dates. Just google "Schulferien".
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Old Jun 10, 13, 5:41 am
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I guess the German motorways nowadays are not only used by Germans but a lot of Eastern Europeans. It certainly doesn't help that my retired in-laws decided to go on holiday early July even though they can go some other time.
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Old Jun 10, 13, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by nacho View Post
I guess the German motorways nowadays are not only used by Germans but a lot of Eastern Europeans. It certainly doesn't help that my retired in-laws decided to go on holiday early July even though they can go some other time.
Is there any reason you can't go by train and avoid the traffic problems?
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Old Jun 10, 13, 7:26 am
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My TomTom does a decent job of updating traffic conditions.
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Old Jun 10, 13, 10:43 am
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For our last two trips driving down to Stuttgart (and in one case on to Prague) from the UK, we made the usual mistake of trying to get into Germany as quickly as possible (France>Belgium>Netherlands) and then hoping to make up time on the Autobahns.

On each occassion we were so disappointed by the state of the roads and the amount of roadworks that we deliberately routed through French Peage Autoroutes on the way back.

Next time we will stick with the French route. Empty roads, a reasonable speed limit, good sight lines etc.
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Old Jun 10, 13, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by MichaelBrighton View Post
Is there any reason you can't go by train and avoid the traffic problems?
Yes we are family of 5 and we are living in Sweden and my in-laws live in a small town in Denmark close to the German border. Taking a train would be very expensive for us, and that you have to change train somewhere to get from my in-law's town to Germany.

I really do like to drive on German motorways - no speed limit, no worry about speeding and my car likes it.

Originally Posted by sparkchaser View Post
My TomTom does a decent job of updating traffic conditions.
We have one too but I guess you need to pay for it, or not?

Road conditions in Germany is not that bad, there are tons of port holes here on the Swedish motorways too.
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Old Jun 10, 13, 5:26 pm
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You can also find out which are the major radio stations in the region and listen to the traffic reports, generally every 30 min. If you don't understand German, try their web/mobile sites and look up "Verkehr" (info is visual, so you can figure out).
For example, this is a major station in the Southwest of Germany.

http://www.swr3.de/info/verkehr/zent...dyt/index.html
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Old Jun 10, 13, 10:24 pm
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Originally Posted by gnarly View Post
Next time we will stick with the French route. Empty roads, a reasonable speed limit, good sight lines etc.
Well, French Motorways cost a lot of money to drive on...

Google maps also does a very good job to show the traffic conditions on the various roads in Germany, including the little side roads.

The RDS TMC info that updates navigation systems with traffic situations if broadcast unencrypted and free of charge in Germany by most radio stations. So if your tom tom or other navigation aide has a TMC receiver it will show/display the traffic blocks ahead.

Construction usually doesn't obstruct traffic, only when special situations like vacation traffic or rush hour come into play you will have congestion. The eastern Europeans usually congest the east-west corridors (even numbered A numbers (A2/4/6/8)) and the southern sections of the A3 and A9.
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Old Jun 10, 13, 11:46 pm
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Originally Posted by nacho View Post
We have one too but I guess you need to pay for it, or not?
My TomTom came with a RDS-TMC receiver so it uses the publicly available band.
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Old Jun 11, 13, 1:18 am
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Originally Posted by nacho View Post
Yes we are family of 5 and we are living in Sweden and my in-laws live in a small town in Denmark close to the German border. Taking a train would be very expensive for us, and that you have to change train somewhere to get from my in-law's town to Germany.
I see that Swedish trains offer "Family" tickets where "Accompanying children pay just the booking fee when travelling together with a passenger with an adult ticket." Might that not help?

I really do like to drive on German motorways - no speed limit, no worry about speeding and my car likes it.
As I'm sure you're aware, not all German motorways and not all parts of German motorways have no speed limit. But, more importantly, how much can you enjoy that speed when you are sitting still in motorway traffic?

When the summer works are being done, why not investigate trains and, when school starts again, consider getting back in the auto?
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Old Jun 11, 13, 3:05 am
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Originally Posted by MichaelBrighton View Post
I see that Swedish trains offer "Family" tickets where "Accompanying children pay just the booking fee when travelling together with a passenger with an adult ticket." Might that not help?

As I'm sure you're aware, not all German motorways and not all parts of German motorways have no speed limit. But, more importantly, how much can you enjoy that speed when you are sitting still in motorway traffic?

When the summer works are being done, why not investigate trains and, when school starts again, consider getting back in the auto?
Maybe when you are in Sweden you can travel free - but if you travel internationally all kids pay child fare as soon as they turn 3. I know someone just did it from Sweden to Bremen and the whole thing one way cost her EUR 50, 1 adult and a kid with 3 changes.

We did look at it sometimes ago and if you are really really lucky you can get something that costs EUR 50 return from Denmark to Hamburg, but then the costs bounced up like crazy. We have done the calculation before and it's not economical compared to driving.

Our car is super fuel efficient - with a full tank of 60 litres of fuel it can run about 1000km if you drive 90-110km/h. From Bielefeld to Denmark I was able to drive fast (was able to do 200km/h + when the road was clear) and the car used about 42 litres of diesel. Of course there is a depreciation cost too but we normally don't count that because we'll need extra transportation and the convenience of having a car.

I know that not everywhere have free speed in Germany, but in the north they tend to have them and often those stretches are not so busy.

Even in our region our public transport authority only allow each adult to bring 2 kids - I don't know why it has to be 2.
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Old Jun 11, 13, 3:06 am
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Originally Posted by sparkchaser View Post
My TomTom came with a RDS-TMC receiver so it uses the publicly available band.
I have that too. I'll check it out ^
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