Something to declare: Driving in France; Zweibrücken; Heathrow Express

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The Independent Travel

Warning of the week: Driving in France

The roads in France continue to be significantly more dangerous than those in Britain, and the government is introducing more initiatives to reduce the road toll. From 1 July, all vehicles must carry a warning triangle and reflective jacket in case of breakdown. "Anyone found not to be complying with this requirement could be subject to a fine of €90 [£75]," warns the Foreign Office.

It also says: "The French police strictly apply speeding restrictions, and if you exceed speed limits you will face heavy on-the-spot fines. If you break French driving laws, you can also have your UK driving licence confiscated by French police. This could lead to your vehicle being temporarily impounded if no alternative driver with a valid licence is available."

Anyone tempted to take a radar detector should be aware that these are illegal in France, whether in use or not.

If you are caught with such equipment in your vehicle, you are liable to a fine, confiscation of the device and the vehicle.

Destination of the week: Zweibrücken

Move over Zurich. The city's traditional place as the last airport in the timetables has been seized by the town of Zweibrücken, in western Germany, which is to be connected from Stansted from 28 October, on Ryanair (0871 246 0000; www.ryanair.com).

The appeal of the town itself may be modest, but it is well placed for the city of Saarbrücken, the northern Vosges of eastern France, the city of Metz and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Flights have convenient timings, with mid-morning departures from Stansted, and return flights are currently available at £38.

Further north in Germany, the Ryanair destination of Lübeck has become more attractive thanks to the opening of a new station at the airport this week. The rail journey to the city centre takes only nine minutes, saving 25 minutes on the bus connection.

Bargain of the week: Heathrow Express

At last, a rail innovation that will save you both time and money. Tomorrow, airlines are abandoning paper tickets, yet most of Britain's train companies are dragging their feet by maintaining the 19th-century practice whereby passengers carry small pieces of cardboard. But the nation's priciest railway, the Heathrow Express from London Paddington to the airport, today launches a service where the "ticket" takes the form of a barcode sent to a mobile phone. The first-time set-up process at www.heathrowexpress.com is complicated and tedious, but at £14.50 for a single trip, the SMS ticket saves £1 compared with the station price, and £3 on the onboard fare.

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