France invests in urban transport

22 August 2013  •  Author(s): David Haydock, Industry Expert

France has seen a boom in urban public transport projects over the past two decades and is continuing the momentum despite difficult economic circumstances. The Hollande government came to power in 2012 at a difficult time. Budgets for most ministries are being slimmed-down in order to reduce a growing deficit. However, although the government has recently announced a major slowing of investment in construction of high-speed rail lines, urban transport investment has emerged from spending reviews relatively unscathed – the only significant change being some lengthening of the timetable for the introduction of the ‘Grand Paris’ scheme for over 100km of orbital metro lines in the Paris suburbs.

Much of the recent expansion in public trans – port has been driven by a law of 1996 governing air quality and energy use which obliges conurbations of more than 100,000 people to draw up a Plan de Déplacement Urbain (PDU = Urban Transport Plan) aimed at reducing pollution and congestion.

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