FRANCE: A consortium comprising Systra, Inexia, Eccta, Ilex and Urbanica has been appointed to manage two tram projects in northern France. The contract was awarded by the Artois-Gohelle local transport authority, which is responsible for public transport in an area comprising 115 towns and villages with a total population of 600 000.
The first route connecting Liévin, Lens and Hénin-Beaumont will be 20·8 km long with 30 stops. The second will be 17·4 km long, running from Bruay-la-Buissière to Béthune and Beuvry and will have 24 stops. The tram lines will serve key destinations in 18 towns and villages and are part of an initiative to regenerate the former mining area.
Systra will be responsible for project management and, with Inexia, for engineering and systems. Eccta is in charge of infrastructure, roads and services, while Ilex and Urbanica will handle architecture, landscaping and urban design.
The consortium is due to present its proposals for the two routes by autumn 2010. Construction is expected to start in 2011 with revenue service set for 2014. The project will cost around €657m.