The annual symposium on the BPL high-speed rail link, held in Lorient, France, on September 28, highlighted the socio-economic impacts one year after the link's commissioning.
This year, the socio-economic observatory symposium was held in Lorient France to review the initial impacts of the introduction of high-speed trains in Brittany, one year after the opening of the BPL high-speed rail link (LGV).
It was revealed, for example, that passenger numbers had increased, with about one million new customers for Brittany and 500,000 for Pays de la Loire, as pointed out by the Director of Bretagne and Pays de la Loire high-speed rail. Other projects highlighted included the rollout of new offerings and services such as the Ouigo train service from Montparnasse-Vaugirard station, Paris, since December 2017 and the introduction of the new TGV Océane trains. Numbers of young passengers were also 30% up, notably thanks to TGV Max offer allowing unlimited travel on TGV high-speed trains.
Business clientele has risen by 25% since the link came into operation. A spinoff effect of the high-speed link is that localities around stations served directly by the LGV are being transformed in terms of mobility and offers of accommodation and services in order to attract the maximum number of people and become multimodal transit hubs serving interlinked regions.
Various representatives of local and regional authorities, design offices and SNCF described their strategies aimed at extending these projects to all Brittany’s train stations as part of a comprehensive policy to modernise station areas in preparation for BGV, the Brittany high-speed project, of which BPL is the first step.
Another more subtle expected impact of the LGV concerned the splitting up of farming operations. Initial results indicate that these effects are minor owing to the reallocation of land as near as possible to farms.
During the afternoon, participants were invited to visit the Lorient railway station district and see how the redevelopment of a station and its vicinity as a multimodal transit hub can enhance mobility and transform relationships with the city centre.
Next symposium: The observatory’s 5th symposium focused on environmental aspect is planned for September 2019 in Laval.