Sarkozy announces biggest investment in transport

Sarkozy announces biggest investment in transport for Ile-de-France since the creation of the RER

Sarkozy has announced plans to revolutionise Ile-de-France’s transport network, dedicating €35bn to the project, which will take 10 years to complete.

The aim of the plan is to turn Paris into a polycentral’ city, with a huge investment in infrastructure to improve the transport network across the Ile-de-France region.

The plans include improving communication between Paris and Le Havre, with the realsation of Canal Seine-Nord and a new TGV link to Le Havre to reinforce Paris’ links with northern Europe. “Le Havre is the port of Greater Paris and the Seine is the axis,” said the president of the Republic.

Secondly, the projet Blanc’, to build a 140km metro line around Paris, has also been given the go-ahead. This line will connect two of Paris’ airports (Roissy and Orly) and allow residents to cross Paris without having to travel through the centre. At the same time, the project will also reduce congestion on existing metro lines.

Thirdly, the RER E line will be extended to Defense, then Mantes la Jolie, relieving the over-congested RER A by enabling residents in the east of Paris to travel to Defense directly. Meanwhile inhabitants in the north and north-west of Paris will be able to travel directly to central Paris.

Fourth, a project to link Orly and Roissy with a new TGV line. The new line will connect the northern TGV network, towards Lille, with the western TGV network towards Nantes and Bordeaux.

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And last but not least, the president confirmed the creation of a high-speed train from Roissy airport to the centre of Paris (CDG Express).

Works will start in 2012 and are expected to take 10 years to complete. The projects will be funded by a public-private partnership and the finance will be voted through this autumn.