Home Politics Eric Piolle, the mayor of Grenoble, is pleased with Macron’s announcements about the development of the RER

Eric Piolle, the mayor of Grenoble, is pleased with Macron’s announcements about the development of the RER

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This announcement took everyone by surprise, while it is important for most French people and for the country’s infrastructure: during a video broadcast on social networks on Sunday 27 November, the President of the Republic commits to launching RER networks – in other words dense and frequent public transport – in about ten major French cities, without giving Details, without informing the relevant ministers or elected officials. ” Great national ambition: in ten major cities, in ten French cities, develop the RER, a network of urban trains Promise of Emmanuel Macron.

This method is Jupiterian to say the least, but it could make it possible to solve some major problems of daily life: it would be the end of – or at least the reduction of – the traffic jams in the major French cities, as well as the reduction of massive pollution due to particulate matter and other dangerous gases and a big step towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions2Not to mention the savings that can be made by all those who are forced to travel by car.

sequel after announcement

From an administrative point of view, the plans are already in place: Elected representatives of the regions have been asking for RERs for years, and the Council for Infrastructure Steering (COI) has been working on the subject. Cities like Lyon, Strasbourg, Lille, Metz, Aix-Marseille, Grenoble, Rennes or Nantes are on the front line going forward. Whatever surprise the presidential announcement may be, the machine is ready to go, if the country releases the necessary funds: we are talking about an investment of 13 billion euros according to first estimates, and this type of investment always ends well. beyond expectations. What can this change in everyday life? We spoke about it with one of the project’s main advocates, European Mayor Ecologie-les Verts of Grenoble Eric Buell.

Were you talking about the secret before Emmanuel Macron spoke?

We took this announcement by surprise, but it’s a good surprise. We have been working on the future of the Grenoble RER with our teams throughout my first term: it is a central project for the agglomeration because our city is located in the middle of the mountains and is served by only three busy roads, with 100,000 cars per day. To reduce pollution and carbon dioxide emissions2To help the middle and working classes or students commute easily, to allow them to go to work more quickly in industrial areas, and to facilitate the development of our large companies like ST Microelectronics, better transportation networks are essential. I challenged the President last July when he came to open ST Microelectronics’ new plant. The roads to it are already crowded, so how will you continue to expand? I talk about it constantly to the relevant ministers, and I spoke about it with Olivier Ferrand, who is also an elected representative from the region. So we’ve been talking about it for four years now, so far without the slightest resonance. This is why I am happy with this presidential impetus, because the president’s work remains essential in France to advance major projects.

Is it Emmanuel Macron’s initiative?

No, it does not fall from the sky. The president acts as if he came up with the idea, which is puzzling because the investigative committee has already done so much work on these needs. He takes everything on his own, as if he alone decided. It’s an old way of doing politics, but what we want is the Grenoble RER, so all means are good to get it and we should be happy if it gets to the end.

sequel after announcement

Eric Buell, the environmentalist who aims for the summit

What would this RER be?

RER, the Rapid Regional Network, simply means that we will have the means to carry regular and high-frequency rail. Residents would almost certainly get a train every fifteen or twenty minutes to go to work, university, city center or back home, which is not possible with the current TER (Regional Rapid Transit) system. It is this timing and these frequencies that change everything. The reliability of group travel is guaranteed and this is a big difference with the current situation, where there are trains here and there, with poor connections between the valleys around us. Today, these transportation issues are managed by the regions, but they do not have the means to change the situation. To solve our problem, we needed a presidential push, because we would need 1 billion euros of investment in Grenoble. There will be new lines, new stations in dense areas, and new stations where they will be useful.

Who will pay and what?

Very clever who knows today who will pay for these new infrastructures, between the state, the provinces, the regions, the SNCF … In the current scheme, for the circulation of trains, the regions work with the SNCF, or with one of its competitors if they ask for tenders along these lines. The railway infrastructure itself is based on the SNCF Réseau. In addition, we will have to invest on our part: we will have to provide bus lines to bring users back to the new stations, build parking lots for motorists who will get to the connecting station from their homes, and also improve bike paths for all of the 400,000 residents of the Grenoble region.

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