€30bn Grand Paris Express network gets go-ahead14 June
Great news for property investors in Paris, the French government has committed to build the whole of the planned Grand Paris Express transport network, the key component of the regional renewal project launched by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. Despite a sharp increase in the expected cost the plans are to go ahead in the face of rumors the socialist-led government might cut the scale of the project or abandon it altogether.
The €30bn plans include a 175km driver-less metro system which will provide new links for key suburbs and airports, and will require 57 new stations. Pascal Auzannet, a former executive of the Paris RATP transport authority said all of France will benefit from the resulting new dynamism of the Paris region.
Ayrault also said that Grand Paris Express and other transport infrastructure improvements will be brought together in a single project, New Grand Paris. An additional €2bn will be provided to upgrade the existing network, taking total budget for these to €6bn by 2017, double the spend of the past five years - and paid for by an annual tax on office and commercial premises. A further €2.5bn will need to be found by 2020, but Ayrault noted: "This is not much out of the more than €30bn that we are going to commit to the New Grand Paris project." The government is looking at mobilising additional resources by increasing parking fines, and the extra growth resulting from the project will also generate additional revenues. He also reiterated his readiness to provide €1bn for the Société du Grand Paris, the body set up to build the new transport infrastructure, from 2015 if needed.