PLANS FOR a three-route light rail network have been given the go-ahead in Bordeaux; on February 28 the Communauté Urbaine voted in favour of a Systra-Sofretu-Sofrerail proposal. Two years ago plans for a VAL mini-metro were abandoned after studies costing FFr370m.

The 21·3 km first phase is costed at between Fr2·8bn and Fr3·2bn; it would open in 2002-03. Three segregated ground-level routes would have trams at 4min intervals during peak hours.

Line A would run northeast from Mériadeck through the city and cross the River Garonne to the hospital at Lormont, with a branch turning south to Cenon-La Morlette. Line B would initially start at Quinconces, north of the city centre and run southwest to Saige. Line C would link Quinconces to the main SNCF station at St Jean.

Phase two would see Line A extended to Mérignac, Lormont Grand-Came and Dravemont-Floirac, Line B to Gare de Pessac and Claveau, and Line C to Le Lac and Bosc. Several SNCF stations around Bordeaux are to be opened or reopened as part of an overall public transport policy, and some of these would later form interchanges with the light rail network.

  • Public Transport authorities in Lyon have put forward proposals for 12 tram routes as more cost-effective than further metro construction. Some would run parallel to metro lines and others would provide orbital journeys seen as crucial to reducing road congestion. Two high priority routes could open as early as 2000. One would offer a direct Perrache - Part-Dieu link, continuing north to La Doua, and the other would run from the southeastern suburb of St Priest to Perrache via Bron-Parilly and Jean Macé. o