November 30, 2021

In Lyon, a cable car project to relieve traffic congestion arouses controversy

In Lyon, France’s second largest metropolis behind Paris, the environmentalist executive wants to run gondolas between Francheville and Lyon, to relieve congestion in the steep and increasingly congested West of Lyon. A project worth more than 150 million euros for 59,000 daily trips which arouses wide opposition, both from residents and from several mayors concerned.

The gondolas, or cable cars, or even cable transport, as the Metropolis prefers to call it, are however a means of transport that presents almost only advantages, according to Bruno Bernard, the environmental president of the community. “It provides a speed capacity equivalent to that of a tram. It allows you to pass over obstacles such as mountains, rivers, thus praises the latter. It also makes it possible to put bicycles in the cabins and therefore have multiple uses. “

“To do nothing in this sector where we have 170,000 trips today, and most of them by car, would be irresponsible”, concludes Bruno Bernard. Another advantage: these gondolas could be built quickly and cover the Lyon skyline from 2026 under the environmental mandate. But with their scale (the cable cars will rise at least 20 meters above buildings and 30 meters above trees) and their massive pylons, these cable cars are not to the liking of the residents concerned.

With, among them, Grégoire George and Alain Bavozet, who created the collective Touche pas à mon ciel and that franceinfo finds in the park of Brûlet, in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon. “Establishing stations in green areas protected for decades by the inhabitants of Sainte-Foy is unthinkable”, deplores the first. “They say they are green people, but they are not green people!”, over the second.

“How can we imagine that environmentalists agree to upset a natural area like the green balcony of the metropolis? It’s unimaginable.”

Alain Bavozet

to franceinfo

Among the opponents are also the mayors of Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon and La Mulatière. These municipalities located on the route of this airline will organize their own referendum on the issue at the end of the month, but at the ends of the line, the mayors of Francheville and Lyon are in favor.

The mobility file is subject to political passes, but citizens have their say with the consultation launched Monday, November 15. Four routes are proposed. If the consultation, which will last three months, concludes with an end of inadmissibility, the project will be abandoned, assures the Metropolis. And it will be too bad for the innovation dreams of the vice-president of mobility, Jean-Charles Kohlhaas.

“It is indeed something that can fit perfectly into a city that is a little new, a little modern and which works less with bitumen on the ground, he explains. I think that it could be a good example then for other projects in the metropolis and elsewhere in France. “ The breakthrough of the cable cars is timid in metropolitan France: they fly over the harbor of Brest and soon arrive in Toulouse. In Lyon, the verdict will be rendered in May on the future of this cable transport which is already creating sparks.

In Lyon, a cable car project to relieve traffic congestion arouses controversy – the report by Mathilde Imberty

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