Official Announcement on Paris Normandy Rail Link This Week

TrainIt looks as if the new high speed rail link from Paris to Normandy is unlikely to get the go ahead anytime soon because of budget cut backs.

Most of the work on the LNPN rail link (Ligne Nouvelle Paris Normandie) is set to be postponed and only a small part from Paris to Mantes will get the go ahead at a cost of €3 million.

An official announcement it expected this week but Philippe Duron, president of the Mobility 21 Commission which is responsible for prioritising major transport projects for the whole of France, has been quoted as saying the route is unlikely to be a top priority.

The smaller section to Mantes will get the commission’s backing as it is already saturated, an official indicated. ‘It is important that spending is consistent with the economy and the finances of the country,’ he added.

The high speed link from Paris to Le Havre and Caen via Rouen was one of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pet projects. He backed Normandy as being an important region in terms of business and transport, referring to the region as the back garden of Paris.

If the indications are correct then it will be a huge blow for the whole of Normandy where regional plans include the faster rail link, especially for the growth of the port of Le Havre.

The rail link is intended to shorten journey times between Paris and Le Havre to 1 hour 15 minutes from two hours currently and take 20 minutes off the journey time from Caen to Paris. It would also link Normandy with the Paris business district of La Défense.

But now it is unlikely that any significant improvements will be made before 2030. The most optimistic outlook is for the Paris-Mantes Evreux and Mantes-section to be completed and the rest left as is.

It also means no improvement for those travelling from Caen to Rouen and is a major blow to the vision of Normandy being of the Paris-Seine business region where around 25% of the French economy is based.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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