Concertation tramway - Leave the Boulevard de Leeds to long-distance buses

Concertation tramway - Leave the Boulevard de Leeds to long-distance buses

Mar 19, 2022
Volt Lille calls for an impact study on the use of long-distance buses in Lille and proposes an alternative route for the tramway
Volt Lille - Concertation transport publics de la MEL

Leave the Boulevard de Leeds to long-distance buses

Preliminary concertation - Tramway Lille et de sa couronne

Leave the Boulevard de Leeds to long-distance buses

Volt Lille calls for an impact study on the use of long-distance buses in Lille and proposes an alternative route for the tramway that leaves the Boulevard de Leeds as Lille's main bus terminal.

Volt Lille - Concertation transport publics de la MEL

Depriving the population of Lille of long-distance bus travel

During a presentation of the new tram lines and the SDIT to the Saint Maurice Pellevoisin Neighbourhood Council, we asked what would happen to the long-distance bus station if the new tram line crossed Leeds Boulevard and continued on towards the Casino.

The answer was that the long-distance bus terminal would be moved to the 4 Cantons metro station - the end of the metro line. The reason for this was that apparently no one really uses these buses and, as they were going from Brussels to Barcelona anyway, moving the terminus to 4 Cantons would even save 15 minutes by avoiding going in and out of the city. A follow-up question on how one was supposed to get to a bus that leaves at 1.00 am without the metro running or worse to arrive at 4 Cantons and find oneself abandoned at the same time, was not answered.

Long-distance travel by bus has become a real alternative for the younger generation as well as for the non-affluent and environmentally conscious population. Not everyone can buy TVG and plane tickets and moving the bus station to the end of the metro without credible information on their use by the population of Lille Metropole and on accessibility also gives a bad image of the planning of the new tram network. Has it been carried out with all due diligence? Should the hourly Flibco shuttle to Charleroi airport leave from Les 4 Cantons while the bus to Lille Lesquins can continue to pass through Rue des Canonniers? Why not move all the buses there? The idea seems to be poorly thought out and validated.

Cover the motorway with a tramway track ending at the "Pont de Kharkiv" station

We therefore believe that such a decision cannot be based on speculation about the use of long distance buses by the population of Lille. Before adopting this route for the tramway, a real impact study should be carried out on the use of long-distance buses in Lille and the MEL and on the risks and implications for passengers of a possible switch to 4 Cantons. Passengers arriving and departing from Lille should also be questioned on their opinion about the obligation to leave and arrive at 4 Cantons.

We also propose an alternative route that requires the extension and solidification of the motorway cover, so that the tramway can run over the motorway. This solution has several advantages:

  • it provides a direct connection to the tram and to Euralille for the new Square Métropolitaine which will be built on the former MEL site;
  • the covered area in front of the entrance to Lille Europe has not been maintained for years. The tramway could give it a new meaning;
  • the exit of Lille Europe station could become the last tram stop. The station could be named "Pont de Kharkiv";
  • It allows to reorganize the access to Lille Europe, notably by creating a drop-off point under the Kharkiv bridge on the separate access lane to the car parks to ease the traffic bottleneck on the Boulevard de Leeds.

The relocation of the long-distance bus station deprives part of the population of access to affordable travel. Such a step should not be taken without proper due diligence and consultation with the affected population. In other capitals, bus stations are often located in the vicinity of railway stations. Lille should not become an exception in this respect. The tramway should therefore not pass through Leeds Boulevard.

(Photo from the MEL website)