After the tragic fire in March 1999which killed 39 people, the Mont Blanc Tunnel is due to repoen on December 15th. The decision to reopen the tunnel, which will allow easy access from France to Italy once more, has been made despite strong protests on environmental grounds. Lorries are the main area of concern. Since the tunnel closed over two years ago, the air quality in and around Chamonix has noticably increased. Over the past twenty five years, the number of vehicles crossing the Alps has risen tenfold. I is predicted that two and a half thousand lorries will pass through the tunnel each day once it is reopened, although they will only travel in one direction. A demonstration is planned by the protestors for the 15th of December to increase their efforts to have lorries banned from the tunnel.
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