1. archer88i

    archer88i Banned Contributor

    Apr 11, 2008
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    Unimproved roads in France

    Discussion in 'Research' started by archer88i, Sep 3, 2017.

    I'm from the US--from Texas, specifically--and we have about four billion miles (you could drive to the sun and back more than forty times and never touch the same road twice; I'm sure that's not any kind of exaggeration) of dirt roads, or roads that used to be paved, or roads that are improved only in that they are clad with a layer of what we refer to as "caliche" (pronounced "k'lee-chee" around here). And then there are about four billion more miles of blacktop ribbon road so thin and pliant you could tie it in your hair.

    I'm not under the illusion that every place faces these same challenges in transportation, so I wanted to ask: how common are unimproved roads in France? The CIA factbook seems to imply they have none at all. I'm not sure what that's counting as "roads," though.
  2. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Aug 27, 2014
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    From the UK, holidayed in France a couple of times, so not an authority...my experience was that most of the major roads were first-class, smooth tarmac. (Look at newsreel footage from the Tour de France to get a feel - albeit, mainly mountain passes!) There were dirt roads - I specifically remember one to a camp site in Paris - but not long, usually leading from a good road to somewhere specific, e.g. a farm.

    My (Hollywood-inspired) impression of the US is that you could travel from x to y solely on a dirt road - that's not the position in the UK nor in France.

    France is, of course, famous for cobbled roads (pave ...that last e with an acute accent that I can't manage!)...mainly in the North-East, I believe. Not exactly unimproved, though!
  3. Partridge

    Partridge Active Member

    May 30, 2017
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    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Been to rural Northern France a few times for work, and driven on these roads a fair bit.
    All I'll say is: French cars (traditionally) have soft rides for a reason. Turn off a major route in the country, and pretty quickly you'll be on a rubbish road. It's as if they dump tarmac over lumpy and bumpy dirt roads and leave it. From memory they're more undulating than potholed.
    archer88i likes this.

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