06 January, 2014

Angers has won a railway battle, but has still to fight

Credit pictures : Wikipedia
Between 2010 and 2013, Angers could have made a spectacular recovery in the railway network scheme of the Pays de la Loire, according to a comparison between two surveys published by the Conseil économique, social et environnemental de la région (Ceser). While that insitution recommended four years ago the construction of "a new line between Nantes and Sablé-sur-Sarthe... directly" adding that "For Anvgers, the relevance of a connection will have to be examined", the Ceser, in recent survey published last October, could have choosen a totally different stance. If the authority continues to favour the construction of a new line, it nevertheless points out that "the servicing of Angers, second railway station after Nantes in order of importance, must be taken into account".

Credit picture : Sara
The comparison reveals, in short, that in 2010, a direct line Nantes-Sablé would have avoided Angers, while three years later, Angers railway station should logically be on the route. For the city, things are completely different. The first option would reduce to nothing the setllement of offices, hotels, car parks, housings and the opening a South access to the Saint-Laud railway station the current town council has planned, and for some parts of the scheme, has already started to realize. If Angers may let out a cry of relief, the railway battle has maybe not ended because, the Ceser is not the ultimate decision-maker.

Because it is impossible to enlarge the current way Nantes-Angers already overloaded by high speed trains, freight trains and regional trains, there is no other choice but to built a new line. In times of scarce finances, Angers city and metropole, as well as the Maine-et-Loire general council, should be "on the same line" because an avoidance of Angers would be castastrophic with regard to economy... and employment. Sure all candidates to municipal elections have understood that. Because elections are close, they are on the same strain.

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