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WEATHER

Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge closed to ‘sensitive’ vehicles due to high winds

Strong winds over Denmark on Wednesday mean the Great Belt Bridge connecting the eastern and western parts of the country will be closed to certain types of vehicle.

Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge closed to 'sensitive' vehicles due to high winds
Heavy winds can make the Great Belt Bridge impassable for certain types of vehicle. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The 18-kilometre fixed-link connection between the islands of Zealand and Funen is expected to be closed until early on Thursday.

Bridge operator Sund & Bælt advised on Wednesday morning that weather conditions meant the bridge would be closed for “wind-sensitive” vehicles until around 6:30pm.

This was lifted 2pm but then reinstated and is now expected to remain in place at 5am on Thursday, according to Sund & Bælt.

Met office DMI forecasts “a risk of crosswinds of 15 metres per second at the Great Belt Bridge through to Friday morning,” the company said in a statement on its website.

Motorists can receive updates at the storebaelt.dk website or by subscribing to an SMS update service by texting BRO INFO to the number 1231.

Once winds reach 15 metres per second in strength, vehicles vulnerable to high winds are not permitted to drive on the bridge.

These vehicles, termed “wind-sensitive” or vindfølsomme include trailers, caravans and campervans and empty or light trucks and vans with a total weight of less than 10 tonnes. You can check here to see whether this applies to your vehicle.

The windy weather may also affect traffic in other parts of Denmark.

Light and sensitive vehicles were advised against using the Vejle Fjord bridge in Jutland, but are not forbidden from driving across it.

On the southern Alssund Bridge, a similar advisory was in place. Winds were expected to be calmer in the area by later on Wednesday.

The Øresund Bridge connecting Copenhagen with Swedish city Malmö was not affected by any warnings or closures as of Wednesday afternoon.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Tips for short-haul foreign travel from Denmark this Christmas

For the past two Christmases strict Covid rules prevented many people from travelling. This year that isn't an issue, but there are strikes, service reductions and high ticket prices to contend with.

Tips for short-haul foreign travel from Denmark this Christmas

Whether you’re a foreigner in Denmark planning a trip to see friends or relatives over the festive season, a second-home owner or you’re planning a Christmas or New Year trip to Denmark, there are several things worth keeping in mind when planning travel.

Strikes

If you’re taking a trip to the UK, be aware that rail workers are currently engaged in a protracted battle to secure pay increases that will help them cope with the soaring cost of living, and have not ruled out further strikes over the festive season.

If you’re going to Italy there are widespread air and rail strikes in November that could continue into December, while Germany has also seen airline strikes. Low-cost airlines in Spain are also staging strike action that is currently scheduled to last until after Christmas.

You can find the latest in Italy here, Spain here and Germany here.

Flying

Many airlines are struggling to bring back staffing to pre-pandemic levels, making it difficult for them to increase the number of flights to meet demand. The current oil prices have also significantly increased airlines’ fuel costs.

Long-haul flights have been particularly affected, with flights from Denmark to New Zealand for a family of four costing around 100,000 Danish kroner over the Christmas period.

Short-haul flights aren’t quite as jaw-dropping but can still be expensive.

One tip to consider, is flying from a different airport to reduce savings. 

“For the first time in six years of living here in Copenhagen we are using Billund airport to fly to the U.K. for Christmas as it was a third of the price of flying out of Copenhagen on the same dates in December,” The Local reader Rachel Prowse said.

Flights for two adults and two children for two weeks over Christmas from Copenhagen to London Stansted currently cost between 3,500 and 4,500 kroner. From Billund to London Stansted for a family of four it costs between 1,700 kroner and 2,500 kroner depending on the flight time. 

Another reader of The Local suggested advance booking and avoiding check-in luggage to keep costs down.

Trains

DSB is the national rail operator in Denmark. Timetables and tickets can be found at dsb.dk, including discounts for travelling outside of rush hours. The timetable for train travel over the Christmas period which includes slightly adjusted times.

Copenhagen central train station has direct services to Sweden and Germany. From Germany, you will have access to the rest of Europe.

Thanks to a newly launched overnight train service in 2021, you can catch an evening train from Copenhagen and wake up in either Hamburg or Berlin.

The train stops in Høje Taastrup and drops off in Hamburg and Berlin the following morning, although there are not many tickets left over the Christmas period. 

The Seat 61 website provides tips on how to travel comfortably and affordably by train. It includes an introduction to train travel in Europe, as well as an extensive search feature to find trains by starting location.

For example the website guides you through taking trains from Aarhus, Aalborg, Kolding, Odense or Copenhagen to Brussels, Cologne or Hamburg. From Brussels you can take the Eurostar onto London.

However be aware that the Eurostar is running around one third fewer services in order to avoid massive queues due to the post-Brexit passport check rules, and passengers are now advised to allow 90 minutes for pre-boarding checks. Financial troubles at the company have also seen ticket prices rise.

The Trainline is an international platform focused on train travel. The company is based in the UK but has extensive coverage of train travel in 45 countries across Europe.

The aim of the Trainline is find to the cheapest tickets for a selected route. Most of the time, this means booking in advance.

Ferry

An overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo for a family of four costs around 3,300 kroner without including meals. 

There are two ferry routes operating between Denmark and Sweden: Frederikshavn to Gothenburg and Grenaa to Halmstad, which costs around 900 kroner for a family of four without a car over Christmas.

You can travel between Denmark and the UK using ferries. You can take a train from Copenhagen to Hamburg, then Hamburg to Rotterdam and sail overnight from Rotterdam to Hull by P&O cruise ferry.

You can also take the overnight ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle by DFDS Seaways cruise ferry. You can get from Copenhagen to Amsterdam by train via Hamburg or you can take the car.

This method may not save you money but can make the journey more fun if you want to avoid airport delays.

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