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Every day, Arles - the city of provence is popular with the tourists for its feria and its photography festival - is poisoned by the exhaust gas of 80,000 vehic

A highway project ruffling defenders of the environment in the Camargue

Every day, Arles - the city of provence is popular with the tourists for its feria and its photography festival - is poisoned by the exhaust gas of 80,000 vehic

A highway project ruffling defenders of the environment in the Camargue

Every day, Arles - the city of provence is popular with the tourists for its feria and its photography festival - is poisoned by the exhaust gas of 80,000 vehicles in transit. Among them, thousands of trucks that connect Spain to Italy. Referred to for at least a quarter of a century and several times buried, the bypass project highway, named A54, was re-launched at the end of 2018 by the government, in a list of "great projects" of infrastructure to carry out in spite of the famine in the budget. Studies have been launched to refresh the project.

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Very supported locally, the economic sectors to the city council communist, the project will, however, pounce associations environmentalists who are trying to protect the fragile balance of a unique area, between the regional park of the Camargue, the largest wetland of Europe, and the plain of the Crau, a steppe of 25,000 hectares. And Friday, they have received the support of two meps EELV, José Bové and Michèle Rivasi, who came to denounce a project that they deem to be "devastating, polluting and climaticide". "This circumvention, it is 900 hectares of agricultural land lost, of which 700 hectares of arable land!", if alarm Michèle Rivasi. "To this highway, it is showing that we did not understand climate change,' she adds, gazing from a bridge, the plain already balafrée on the expressway and a railway line.

The pink flamingos at the contact of the trucks

Storks, ducks, flamingos and turtles in the regional park of the Camargue, and will have to interact with the trucks, say the project's critics, who fear an increase in traffic. "You do not pass the middle of the delta of the Rhone," explains Jean-Luc Masson, elected of Arles, who presides over the entity in charge of ensuring that the dykes of the river. The perimeter of the regional park has been cropped to the "make it compatible" with the project, he said. To attempt to mobilize, the former leader paysan José Bové evokes the bypass motorway of Strasbourg (GCO), "a project that looks like two drops of water" to that of Arles. His work has been in part suspended by the court after a mobilization of environmentalists.

According to an elected official, the perimeter of the regional park has been cropped to the "make it compatible" with the project

"the president of the Republic shall apply to his promise", made this year at the Salon of Agriculture, "to break" with the artificialisation of agricultural land, and give up this highway, lance-t-il. Instead, environmentalists advocate a bypass of the city, "where people suffer of fine particles", by a single road. And lorries in international transit shall be diverted on a highway existing, the A7 and the A9, a detour of 30 km that the State may impose "without that it does not cost a euro", according to José Bové. The proposal is sighing the member LREM Monica Michel, in his stay in arles. "I am very proud to carry on this project, which will bring well-being to the inhabitants, particularly of the popular districts", which provide on the fast track, " she explains.

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In a city with 15% unemployment, "I'm all for this which can develop on the job." "I am very aware of the need to protect the environment but we can't forget that people are suffering from unemployment and poverty," she adds. A response to the environmentalists that denounce the development of giant warehouses for Amazon, Zara or Castorama, on agricultural land of the plain of the Crau. Sometimes up to 100,000 square metres each, they drain a significant traffic of heavy trucks.

Publish Date : 05 Mart 2019 Salı 00:00

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