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 V-16 lights to replace emergency triangles - Driving in Spain

V-16 lights to replace emergency triangles - The DGT clarifies when the V-16 lights, which will replace the emergency triangles. After months of debate, from 1st July the V-16 lights will begin to replace the emergency triangles. This new signal is a device with an orange flashing light that must be placed on top of the vehicle to signal that you stopped on the road.

These  V-16 lights will be able to be used instead of the triangles from July, but they will not become mandatory until 2026. From then, the only thing allowed to signal incidents will be these light signal that contain your geolocation.

 V-16 lights

The deputy deputy director of circulation of the DGT, Ana Blanco, already spoke about these a few months ago: "people become vulnerable" when they have to leave the vehicle to place the triangles, Jorge Ordás, deputy director general of Mobility Management and Technology of the DGT, also pointed to the high number of fatal accidents that occurred when drivers left their vehicles to place or pick up the triangles.

The new signage may be placed without leaving the vehicle. When we suffer a breakdown, it will be enough to lower the window and put the device on the roof, where it will be anchored with a magnetic anchor. In addition, the device will have a parabolic reflector with which the light will be visible within a radius of one kilometre, even in conditions of low visibility. You will not need cables as it works with battery and you can send a request for assistance when you have a connection with the drivers' mobiles.

The DGT has recalled that, in case of breakdown or accident, the new regulations dictate "as a general rule" that we will only leave the vehicle if there is a safe place outside the roadway, and always on the opposite side to the flow of traffic. If we are unable to exit safely, we will wait for assistance inside the vehicle with the seat belt on.

As translated from Spanish

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New Speed Limits from 11th May 

New speed Limits from 11th May - There are several changes in road safety that were approved at the end of last year at state level, those changes will take effect from May 11th.

Although not all the rules made by the DGT in November 2020 are not currently active, as is the case with the reduction of speed limits on urban roads. the new regulations for electric scooters came into effect at the beginning of January

The DGT remind us that from May 11th we will have new speed limits in place.  These change that modified the General Regulation of Circulation through Royal Decree 970/2020, of November 10th, was published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on November 11th.

The DGT points out that this deadline is set to allow citizens to come to terms with the new regulations, and for municipalities to adapt road signage.

The RDL of November 10th states that the "generic" speed limits on urban roads will be: 

20 km / h on roads with a single carriageway and sidewalk platform. 

30 km / h on single lane roads in each direction of travel.

50 km / h on roads with two or more lanes per traffic direction

Take into account that the lanes reserved for the circulation of certain vehicles or users, such as those used exclusively for public transport, are not counted. For example, if a street has one lane but also has one for bus / taxi, the 30 km / h limit will be applied since it is considered that there is only one lane for that direction. In the same way, the new regulations allow these new generic speeds to be reduced by the City Councils if they consider it, although they must first install the signs indicating the different limit.  The Municipal Authority may also increase the speed on roads with a single lane in each direction, up to a maximum speed of 50 km / h.

Fines - How to check online for fines

Research shows that, REDUCING THE SPEED IN A CITY FROM 50 KM / H TO 30 KM / H REDUCES THE RISK OF ACCIDENTS BY UP FIVE TIMES.

NEW SPEED CAMERAS IN BENIDORM 

Be aware that Benidorm Council have already installed 9 new speed camera,  round the town some of which are quite hidden.

These devices are placed on roads such as the Avenue of the Mediterranean, Beniardá, Alfonso Puchades and the roads of the Via Parque.

The council have sent a message to calm the public, assuring them that, for the time being, radars "will not be serving fines/sanctions for vehicles. People can rest easy, for now.  With these radars we will be able to know how fast traffic circulates on average on each road, detect the most problematic points and be able to make decisions to slow traffic down in areas where the limits are un met. Later, if we see that people continue to exceed speed limits, you could start to get fined, but for now the answer is clear: no."

New Speed limits

Above - Latest speed cameras in Benidorm

6th April - It seems even these are already causing concerns - Political mess over radars. Benidorm's PSOE has asked the PP's government team to suspend the commissioning of newly installed radars in different parts of the city. A measure that was raised by technicians on a Mobility Council where it received no criticism against it. For this reason, the Councilor of Mobility, José Ramón González de Zárate, accuses the opposition group of "demagoguery" and "having no word".

The boxes where those radars will go have started to be installed on Tuesday although they are not yet in operation. The Socialists have noted that "this is not the most appropriate time" to put in place sanctions-in-action measures, adding that "alternative formulas for speed control should besought." "Given the difficult situation that many of our neighbours are going through, we believe this is not the right time to implement this measure that can financially harm Benidorm families." They have also indicated that the installation of these radars can also affect tourists and visitors who come by vehicle to the city in the coming months.

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Train from Santander to Benidorm  

A good alternative for those that don´t want to fly. Enjoy the sights, read a book, watch a film, listen to music. relax and enjoy the journey by train from Santander to Benidorm.

Travel by Ferry as a foot passenger  - UK to Santander

Coronavirus updates

You are required to wear a mask in most transports when you travel.

Overland travellers to Spain and those transiting are not currently required to present a PCR test or Health Control Form on entry by road or rail.

Train from Santander to Benidorm 

The Alvia train runs between Santander and Alicante passing through Madrid. The trains generally stop in Villena, Albacete, Cuenca, Segovia, Valladolid, Palencia, Aguilar de Campó, Reinosa and Torrelavega.

Distance 633 km

Average speed - 78.1 km/h

Average Ticket prices between 65.00 and 105€

Train from Santander to Benidorm Map

OR take a Train from London to Benidorm

What are Alvia trains?

Alvia is the name given to Renfe’s high-speed, long-distance trains connecting major cities in Spain. They can hit speeds of 250km/h - marginally slower than the 300km/h top-speed of AVE trains, but still very speedy!

The trains are built to run on both the high-speed rail lines and the slower, “classic” railway lines. During journeys, Alvia trains will switch between the two, this essentially means that Alvia trains can connect smaller, regional stations to the high-speed rail arteries that run between Spain’s big cities, resulting in reduced travel times for passengers.

Alvia trains come in three different models – Class 120, Class 130 and Class 730. The latter two types have distinctive, duck-billed train noses, so much so that they’ve been nicknamed patitos (ducklings) by local travellers. 

Series 120 trains entered into operation in May 2006. Manufactured by CAF, 120s are comprised of 81 Preferente Class seats and 156 Turista seats, distributed across four coaches.

series 130 was manufactured by Talgo. With 63 Preferente seats and 236 Turista seats, they have 11 coaches - one of them a Cafeteria - and 2 power cars, so they can travel in both directions.

Alvia Series 730 (Hybrid)  Also manufactured by Talgo, the Series 730 trains are an evolution of the Series 130. They run on a mixture of electric and diesel power, making them the most environmentally friendly Alvia model. They have 216 Turista seats, 46 Preferente seats and a Cafeteria carriage. They entered service in June 2012.

All trains offer:
- 2nd (Turista) and 1st (Preferente) class available
- air-condition, reclining seats that can be turned in direction of travel
- four seats per row in Turista, three seats per row in Preferente; all in open-plan configuration
- audio and video entertainment system
- cafeteria
- equipped for passengers with reduced mobility
- power plugs on some services

Once in Alicante catch the tram to Benidorm (Alicante Metro Tram)

Catch Line 1, journey time approx 1h 8m, every 30 minutes.

More information here

How long does the train from Alicante Terminal to Santander Estación take?

The average journey time by train between Alicante Terminal and Santander Estación is 10 hours and 15 minutes,  journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays.  There are normally 2 trains per day. 

What's the fastest journey time between Alicante Terminal and Santander Estación by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Alicante Terminal to Santander Estación is 8 hours and 35 minutes.

How much does the train from Alicante Terminal to Santander Estación cost?

Train tickets from Alicante Terminal to Santander Estación can start from as little as €40.85 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.

How to buy Alvia tickets

Tickets tend to go on sale 62 days in advance of the travel date.

Alvia Fares explained

Renfe offers three different fares for Alvia trains: Promo, Promo+ and Flexible

Promo

Promo tickets are the cheapest fare. They work like advance tickets in the UK – you can save up to 70% on high-speed and long-distance trains. There are a limited number of Promo fares for any given train so they will often sell out for busy routes. These tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

Promo+

These are very similar to Promo tickets but slightly more expensive. Booking Promo+ tickets far enough in advance can earn you savings of up to 65%, and they come with more flexibility than the cheapest fare type. Should you not be able to make your train, a Promo+ ticket entitles you to a refund of 70% of the ticket value, up to 5 minutes before departure.

Flexible

As the name suggests, Flexible tickets offer the most flexibility to amend or refund your booking. Tickets are refundable for 95% of the value up to 5 minutes before departure. However, these tickets are the most expensive of the three. Flexible tickets can come in handy if there’s a chance you might miss your scheduled train.

Alvia ticket prices

The price of Alvia tickets is determined by Renfe’s dynamic pricing system, which works in a similar way to airline tickets. Tickets are cheaper the further in advance you book them. This applies to Promo (the cheapest) and Promo+ (slightly more expensive, part-refundable) fares. The price of Flexible (the most expensive) fares is fixed – this ticket type allows you to change your booking to another train at no cost.

Be flexible with your travel times

Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.

Electronic tickets

When you buy your ticket, you will receive an email with the purchase confirmation, your trip details and an electronic ticket in PDF format. When travelling, you will only have to show the ticket on your mobile or tablet (but you can print it at home for extra peace of mind). Tickets are valid for 4 hours from the train departure and do not require validation.

Train from Santander to Benidorm Renfe Train

Classes of Service

1st Class - Preferente.

First Class carriages are more spacious with wider seats. You’ll receive headphones, food, drinks and daily newspapers at no additional cost, as well as a free parking service at the station of origin (except Madrid Atocha) for 24 hours and access to Club Rooms at Renfe stations.

Seats have head rest, fold-down table, foot rest, individual adjustable light and power sockets.

2nd Class - Turista

Turista is the name for Standard Class on Alvia trains. The arrangement of the seats in all the carriages is 2 + 2, with a mixture of normal and table seats. There are usually more Turista seats on an Alvia train than Preferente seats.

Second Class options will provide a comfortable and saving option for you as well. Although it has a little bit less space in general when compared to 1st clas, it´s still a viable option when you want a saving option. You will find comfort in 2nd class specially when travelling in big groups.

Second Class brings you seats with head rest, a fold-down table, foot rest and an individual reading light for your maximum

The bar has a wide selection of meals and sweet snacks available to satisfy everybody's hunger. Eat at the bar or take them back to your seat. Great meals and tasty snacks waits for you on this trip.

Disabled facilities on the train from Santander to Benidorm

All trains are equipped for passengers with reduced mobility

Children

Children under 4 years old travel free on an adult’s lap on board Alvia trains but must carry a Niño gratuito (“Free Child”) ticket. Just make sure you add them to your booking when you book.  Children under 14 receive a 40% discount on a standard price ticket.

Renfe allows children between 6 and 13 years old to travel alone as long as they do it in Preferente class. This service can only be booked at the ticket offices of the stations.

Train from Santander to Benidorm

Animals

Dogs, cats, ferrets or birds weighing less than 10 kg can travel on board Alvia trains with a ticket as long as they do so in a carrier or cage that does not exceed dimensions of 60 x 35 x 35cm. Tickets cost 25% of the price of a Turista Class ticket. In Preferente, animals go for free.

If your pet weighs more than 10 kg, it cannot travel with you.

WiFi

You can connect to the Renfe WiFi network through the PlayRenfe platform. There are two access options:

  • Basic: 20 MB of data and access from 1 device. It is free for passengers in Preferente Class. It costs €2 for all other passengers.
  • Premium: 100 MB of data and access from 3 devices. Free for Preferente class travellers and customers of the +Renfe program. It costs €4 for all other passengers.

Bikes

On Alvia trains, bicycles will be considered hand luggage if they are disassembled and stored in a case with dimensions that do not exceed 180cm when added together.

Those that exceed this measure will be considered “special luggage” and must be disassembled, with the pedals removed and the handlebar turned 90º, and stored in a case of the following maximum dimensions: 120 x 90 x 40 cm.

Luggage

When you travel in Alvia you can take up to 3 suitcases with you. The sum of their weight must be less than 25 kg and the combined dimensions cannot exceed 290cm. Renfe considers baby carriages and instruments smaller than 30 x 120 x 38cm hand luggage.

Enjoy your journey by train from Santander to Benidorm and share your experience in comments below.

OR take a Train from London to Benidorm

N.B. You are required to wear a mask in most transports when you travel.

Links to Passenger Locator forms

Spanish Driving Rules  - Overtaking Cyclists

Spanish Driving Rules Overtaking Cyclists - 27th January, Rules change for drivers overtaking cyclists.  A ROAD Traffic Act reform means the way drivers are required to overtake cyclists has changed, with even more cautious measures set to come into force very soon.  

The exact date on which the new rules will be effective has not yet been revealed, but motorists should act as though they are already in place as failing to do so once it becomes law could mean a €200 fine and three points deducted from your licence.  

Here in Spain, driving licences start off with 12 points when 'clean', and points are deducted for motoring offences, with an automatic ban once all 12 have been used up – reinstating these normally requires paying for specified courses at official driving schools, as points-related offences are never 'spent' after a set time period. 

Until now, drivers have been required to leave a margin of at least 1.5 metres (approximately five feet) when overtaking cyclists on roads, and are permitted to cross the central line, even if it is an unbroken white strip, to do so.  

With the new rules the distance between car and bicycle when passing has increased to two metres (6'6”) and drivers must slow to at least 20 kilometres per hour below the speed limit.  For example, on a road with a 50-kilometre limit, the driver must not overtake a bike-rider any faster than at 30 kilometres per hour, or on a main national highway where the limit is typically – but never higher than – 90 kilometres per hour, motorists should not go above 70 kilometres per hour when passing cyclist.

Crossing the central line and invading the opposite lane is permitted to enable the two-metre distance to be left.  Drivers should not overtake cyclists at all where it would involve moving into the oncoming lane unless it is safe to do so, with no oncoming cars that may be forced to brake or have difficulty stopping in time.

Driving Rules Overtaking Cyclists

Head of Spain's General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), Pere Navarro, announced these measures in a conference organised by Executive Forum involving motorway franchise companies Abertis Autopistas and Indra. It forms part of a raft of reforms to the Road Traffic Law which are expected to come into force in the next few months, which include the number of points deducted from licences rising from three for driving with a mobile phone in one's hand to six, and not wearing a seatbelt, helmet on a motorbike, or with children not in the correct booster seats, to four.

Cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road-users, especially on fast-moving inter-provincial highways, and although motor vehicle crash death figures have generally been improving in the last few years, this is not the case with cyclists – last year, when fatality rates for all other types of road transport reduced, those of cyclists saw the smallest reduction, and in 2019, bicycle crash deaths actually increased.

For other Travel information check out this section of the website 

Drink Driving Rules in Spain

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Travel by Train, London to Benidorm

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm

Put your feet up & relax, watch the pretty French villages of the Rhone Valley and the stunning Spanish countryside pass by as you travel by Train from London to Benidorm.

Sometimes its not about how fast you get somewhere, but the adventure of the journey itself.

Coronavirus - Please check with the relevant government websites with regards to the latest rules and regulations for travel, Masks must be worn on all public transport.

Step 1 London St Pancras to Paris on the Eurostar

Eurostar

The average train time from London to Paris is 2h 20m, although it takes just 2h 16m on the fastest high-speed Eurostar services. There are around 15 trains per day running from London in the UK to Paris in France, passing 246 feet under the Channel Tunnel (also known as the Chunnel) on its way between capital cities. 

All trains depart from London St Pancras International station.

All trains arrive into Paris Gare du Nord station

213 miles (342 km)

Tickets

Tickets go on sale between 138 and 190 days before departure. ticket prices are based on demand and availability, tickets for this journey start from around €50.50 when booked in advance.

Children under 4 travel free

Discounted prices for under 12s and groups

Eurostar

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm - Step 2 Paris Nord to Paris Gare De Lyon

Trains every 15 minutes, journey time 7 minutes or grab a taxi.

The Paris Nord Train Station (Gare du Nord) was originally built in 1846. Shortly after, it was rebuilt three times to increase the size of the station due to increasing traffic. The new and improved station was fully functional by 1864. The name was decided with the notion that travelers would be able to travel to Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

Paris Nord

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm, Paris Nord Station

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm 

Step 3 - Paris Gare de Lyon to Barcelona-Sants

Two trains a day Journey time 6h 38m, 1,079.5 km

Barcelona Sants station, also known Sants Estación is Barcelona's largest train station and provides rail services both in and around Barcelona and for the whole of Spain and beyond.  The station itself can prove quite a confusing place to be as it is so large and there are often large numbers of passengers there

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm, TGV train

TGV Train

www.renfe-sncf.com

Step 4 - Barcelona-Sants to Alicante Termino

Direct train departing from Barcelona-Sants and arriving at Alicante-Termino. The fastest journey time by train from Barcelona to Alicante Terminal is 4 hours and 25 minutes.   There are 4 direct trains from Barcelona to Alicante Terminal each day. 

Non direct trains the average journey time is  about 7 hours and 43 minutes, with around 6 trains per day.

Trains going from Barcelona to Alicante travel at an average speed of 86.4 km/h, although at times they can reach much higher maximum speeds.  Distance is 54 miles (408 km) 

Train operator Renfe.  Prices can start from as little as 15€ up to 76€ so shop around for the best deals.

Step 5 Alicante to Benidorm (Alicante Metro Tram)

Catch Line 1, journey time aprox 1h 8m, every 30 minutes.

More information here

TOTAL JOURNEY TIME AROUND 14 HOURS

Tips

Fares vary like air fares, so book as far ahead as you can:  Fares for Eurostar, TGV & Spanish long-distance trains are yield-managed like air fares, cheaper in advance and on less busy days & dates, more expensive closer to departure and on busier dates & days, so book as early as you can and search for the cheapest departures, for example mid-week.  Remember that the cheapest tickets are for a specific train only, limited or no refunds or changes to travel plans. .

Booking usually opens 120 days ahead.  Eurostar opens up to 180 days ahead, Paris-Barcelona TGVs up to 120 days ahead. Prices can vary between 231€ - 515€ so shop around for the best value.

The website Trainline quite often have tickets earlier and at good discount prices so is well worth checking out.

Upgrade to 1st class on the TGV, often for little extra cost.  1st class on a TGV can cost little more than 2nd class and can sometimes even be cheaper because of the way the price quotas work.  With Raileurope.co.uk you can easily see if there's a cheap 1st class fare for the Paris-Barcelona sector, without necessarily also upgrading to first class on the Eurostar, which can be expensive.

First class on board a TGV Duplex Train

Classes -  Turista, Turista Plus, Preferente...  Renfe offers two classes, Turista (2nd class) and Preferente (1st class), but on the best high-speed AVE trains it also offers Turista Plus (premium 2nd class), which means Preferente-type 1st class seats but without the Preferente weekday at-seat meal service or access to the Sala Club lounges

Food & drink -  On most long-distance trains there's a cafe-bar serving tea, coffee, drinks and snacks.  Of course, you're also free to take your own food and even wine or beer onto the train.

Children & infants - Children under 14 pay the child fare.  Infants under 4 travel free as long as they don't occupy a seat, but since 2014 it's been mandatory to get a free infant ticket before you travel  You will get the necessary free infant ticket If you book all your tickets at Raileurope.co.uk or renfe.com as you can simply add your child to your booking entering their age.  You cannot book an infant ticket alone without any adults, so if you forget to add them to your original booking, you need to get a free infant ticket at the station ticket office before you board.

Seniors over 60 -  If you are over 60 you can buy a Tarjeta Dorada card which gives a 25%-40% discount on Renfe's Flexible full-price fare - You can only buy a Tarjeta Dorada card at Renfe stations or agencies when you get to Spain, and you can only buy reduced-fare tickets at stations or online at Renfe.com when you have the card number.  You'll find full details if you go to www.renfe.com and look for the Tarjeta Dorada page.

Information by - Maurice Oconnor 2021-04-25 20:17  "As regards the tarjeta dorado. It can only be used against the regular, full priced scheduled fare. I travel regularly by train from Barcelona to Malaga and often there are offers that work out cheaper than using the discount card. Sometimes the regular fare can be as much as 250 euros. Using the card the fare would be around 150 euros but I've availed myself of special offers and only paid 68euros on occasions. A very obliging girl in the ticket office at Sants put me on to this so always enquire."

Disabled facilities 

Eurostar  

People traveling in their own wheelchair and taking up an H-type seat (only for disabled individuals).

People traveling in a folding wheelchair and taking up a regular seat.

People with visually or hearing impaired persons with or without a guide dog.

People with reduced mobility

RENFE

The Renfe Atendo service and SNCF Acces Plus work together to offer free care for people with limited mobility (both permanent and temporary) from the start of their journey to the end. The cooperation between these two services ensures that Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation customers will be cared for in both Spain and France.

This is a specialized service that provides guidance and information and helps passengers with limited mobility access move through the stations, as well as providing assistance when boarding and disembarking from the trains.​ ​The Atendo and Acces Plus personnel are all properly trained and are sensitive to the care requirements of people with disabilities.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH LIMITED MOBILITY

Adapted services during the journey: Adapted WC with a bell to alert on-board staff in the event of any problem.

Accompanying personnel available during the journey: on-board staff will attend​ to any specific needs that may arise during the journey.

Places specifically for passengers travelling in wheelchairs: In the TGV Dúplex/Eurodúplex trains, there are 2 specific places on the lower deck of the first Preferential/1st Class car (car 1 or 11).The journey can be made in the wheelchair or the passenger can ask to be transferred to a seat.

In the AVE S-100 trains, there are 2 seats located in Tourist/2nd Class car 8. The journey can be made in a wheelchair. Customers who use a folding wheelchair and who want to be transferred to a seat can travel in any regular seat by asking for assistance at the Renfe Atendo Central Office (ACO).

​When a specific place is requested for a passenger in a wheelchair, the request for care is automatically sent to the Atendo/Acces Plus service. 

Guide dogs can travel with their owner​ without any fee or ticket on board all trains.

Travel by Train, London to Benidorm

TAKING DOGS ON THE TRAINS

British Trains - You can take dogs, cats and other small animals with you free of charge on all British trains, up to a maximum of two per passenger, as long as they do not endanger or inconvenience passengers or staff.

Unfortunately only Guide and assistance dogs are allowed on Eurostar, they are almost the only train service in Europe that doesn’t allow any size pet dogs.

Dogs may be brought on the day trains from Paris to Barcelona.

They must be on a leash and muzzled.  On these trains, you can take your dog as long as it's kept in an enclosed carrier. You would have to purchase a special ticket for your dog, which can only be done locally at the station.

Renfe - You must meet certain requirements to avoid disturbing the other passengers. Remember that if a nuisance is caused to other passengers, they can demand their on-board personnel to not admit the animal during the journey.

CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL RULES - TRAVEL TO AND FROM FRANCE 

Travel between the UK and France Please check official entry requirements, full details can be found on the French Governments website

Entry Requirements into Spain

For entry requirements back to the UK please check government websites for updates.

OTHER OPTIONS

THE CHANNEL TUNNEL

FERRY UK TO FRANCE

FERRY UK TO SPAIN

DRIVING FROM THE NORTH OF SPAIN TO BENIDORM

DRIVING FROM FRANCE TO THE COSTA BLANCA

TRAINS FROM SANTANDER TO BENIDORM

 

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