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Cover Story: Issue Issue 09 26 Feb 2010

French Transport Revolution: Is their Spending Extravagant or Necessary?

The British often cast an envious eye at French public transport, with its high speed TGV network, modern light rail systems and cheap fares. But is this testament to French flair or is it the result of extravagant and inefficient spending?

The arrival of French transport groups, Keolis, Veolia and Transdev, in the UK over the past decade has brought with it its fair share of legendary Gallic shrugs. The two countries may only be separated by 20 miles of English Channel, but the environment French transport professionals are used to in their homeland and the systems they have encountered in this country can often seem as though they are from a different planet.

In the UK, promoting competition, minimising subsidy and proving the...

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