Evening Update Friday 22nd March 2024

Another motorcyclist has died in a crash on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The fatal accident occurred around 1am this morning. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate the man in his 20s. His passenger is being treated at Pasteur 2 hospital for serious injuries.It's the fourth death of a motorcyclist on the Riviera's roads in just a week, after a 21-year-old biker died on the Basse Corniche in Eze on Sunday and two other motorcyclists lost their lives last weekend in Nice. Road deaths in the Alpes-Maritimes appear to be on the rise. The department recorded seven road deaths last month - up from just one in January.

Meanwhile, a new speed camera has entered service on the Voie Mathis in Nice, near the Magnan interchange on the westbound side. The radar is mounted above the road and is capable of monitoring up to 32 vehicles simultaneously over a 200-metre stretch of road. As well as checking that drivers are respecting the 70 kilometre per hour speed limit, the camera is also capable of detecting whether drivers have their seat belts attached and whether they are holding a mobile phone.

The funeral has been held for Denis Lisnard, father of the mayor of Cannes, and a former AS Cannes footballer. Denis Lisnard died on Tuesday at the age of 79 following a long illness. The Cannes community came together yesterday to pay tribute to him at the Notre Dame d'Esperance church in Le Suquet.

Firefighters have rescued two dogs from an apartment fire in Nice this morning. The fire started in the kitchen of a second-floor apartment on Boulevard Joseph Garnier. The animals were unharmed.

Striking workers have blockaded a service station on the A50 motorway in Marseille. They're demanding bonus payments after their employer, TotalEnergies, announced record profits. The La Pomme service station on the A50, in Marseille's 11th arrondissement, has been inaccessible since early this morning.

Meanwhile, uncollected rubbish has started piling up on the streets of four arrondissements in Marseille. This time the build-up of waste isn't due to a strike - but due to a reorganisation of bin rounds. Rubbish collection days have changed in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th districts of the city, with many apartment blocks only having their bins collected twice a week instead of daily. The move appears to have been poorly communicated, with large numbers of residents still putting their bins out on the old collection days. Marseille city council says it'll carry out a major communications campaign this weekend, including a door-to-door flyer campaign with 130,000 leaflets.

The road from Menton to Sospel has managed to partially reopen today after last week's landslide. The Route du Monti is passable on one side only, and temporary traffic lights will direct traffic until all of the debris can be cleared and the rockface secured. From next Monday, the road will be closed daily between 9am and 4pm for an estimated two months to allow the works to go ahead.

The French HIV and Aids charity, Sidaction, has launched its weekend-long annual fundraising campaign today, to coincide with its 30th anniversary. The number of diagnosed cases of HIV in the Alpes-Maritimes fell by 40% between 2015 and 2018, but has since stabilised. Last year, 80 new positive cases were recorded. Sidaction's fundraising weekend raised €4 million nationally in 2023.

And tourism officials in Monaco have reported positive figures for 2023. Hotel occupancy rates were up last year compared with 2022, with a year-round average of 57%. The average price of a night in a Monaco hotel stood at €474 excluding tax. Italian tourists made a strong comeback last year, and visitors from the Middle East and the USA were on the rise. Monaco is preparing a new tourism campaign in some of its most important international markets, under the banner "Like Nowhere Else".

BUSINESS

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund has completed a deal to take full ownership of McLaren Group, one of the most revered names in British manufacturing, after years of negotiations to put the company on a stable long-term footing. McLaren is set to announce that the recapitalisation of the supercar manufacturer and Formula One team shareholder has been concluded. Paul Walsh, McLaren's executive chairman, said the deal would strengthen the company's governance and ownership structure.

And the British pound dropped to a three-week low this morning, falling below $1.26, as City traders anticipate cuts to UK interest rates soon. It comes as Morgan Stanley predicts the Bank of England will cut interest rates by a whole percentage point during 2024, which would bring Base Rate down from 5.25% to 4.25%. The weaker pound is helping to push share prices up in London. The FTSE 100 index of blue-chip shares has risen over 7,900 points for the first time since last April, up 25 points this morning at 7,907.

SPORT

Formula One - After a two-week break following the first two races of the season, Formula 1 is back with a bang this weekend as the 87th edition of the Australian Grand Prix gets underway in Melbourne. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc led Red Bull's Max Verstappen in Friday practice. Leclerc was 0.381 seconds faster than the man who has dominated the first two races for Red Bull. Verstappen missed the first 20 minutes after damaging his floor in an off-track incident in the first session.

Football - A Ligue 1 local football derby between OGC Nice and Marseille has been postponed by 10 days. The two sides were due to meet on 14th April. But Ligue 1 bosses have decided that it will now be played at the Velodrome on 24th April. The delay was decided because Marseille have a Europa League quarter-final match against Benfica in Lisbon on 11th April.

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