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Viewpoint: Issue Issue 29 11 Jun 2012

French mayors nail their colours to transport projects

The extension to Montpellier’s tramway demonstrates the close link between civic leadership and transport issues in France. Lesley Brown explores how the system has been delivered

Lesley Brown, Editor, EURAILmag

­It is a truth more or less universally acknowledged, that a French city mayor seeking re-election must be in want of a tram. In France the tram represents more than just an urban-friendly, bang on trend mode of transport. Much more is riding on it. In a word: votes. The thinking here is along the lines of ‘give the people a tram and they’ll vote for me.’

Brand new tramways, or line extensions, or the introduction of new trams, are typically inaugurated prior to city...

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