Four months before the regional and departmental elections, scheduled for June 13 and 20, the political battle between the left and the right is intensifying in Seine-Maritime. It crystallizes around a very old toll motorway project in Rouen, a time closed, but now called into question.
These 41.5 kilometers of asphalt were to connect, by 2024, the A13 and A28 motorways, bypassing the Norman capital to the east. After nearly half a century of discussions, the State, the contracting authority, had agreed to finance part of this motorway project, one of the few included in the mobility policy law, at the end of 2019. . “But we do not wish to advance against local communities”, assured the Minister of the ecological transition, Barbara Pompili, Wednesday February 17, in the Senate.
Indeed, the turnaround of the Rouen Normandy Metropolis has reshuffled the cards: it voted to withdraw its contribution of 66 million euros, on February 8, arguing that it was “The climate emergency”, “Land ecological impacts” of the project, and “Uncertainties related to its modeling (high cost toll) and its real impact” in terms of traffic. The Rouen intercommunality thus comes out of the financial roundabout obtained in 2017. It then brought together the Normandy region, the Seine-Maritime department, the metropolis, the State and the future concessionaire, for a total of 886 million euros.
The about-face of the new mayor of Rouen and president of the metropolis, the socialist Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, is at the origin of this withdrawal. Once a support for the project, the elected official changed his mind during the municipal campaign. “Because the world has changed and, I admit, I had underestimated the importance of the climate issue”, assumes the forty-something, who has succeeded in dragging along his line the elected metropolitan socialists, former Fabiusians and long promoters of the project.
Far from believing in the sincerity of the socialist, the right, the center, the macronists and the Rouen economic community castigate a “Politician grub” and an agreement between the Socialist Party (PS) and Europe-Ecologie Les Verts, historic opponent of the project with which the PS has made an alliance at the town hall of Rouen. “I spoke well before any electoral agreement”, retorts Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol.
Region and department have announced their intention to compensate for the financial withdrawal of the metropolis by increasing their initial contribution
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