France/State-region plan contracts: the State contributes 8.6 billion euros for the "mobility" section
The long-awaited launch of negotiations for the "mobilités" section of the State-Region plan contracts covering the period 2023-2027 is now official, as the State has just committed to mobilizing 8.6 billion euros over the period within this framework, with a declared priority for rail. The government hopes to conclude negotiations before the end of the summer.
8.6 billion euros. This is the amount the State will contribute to the opening of negotiations for the "mobility" section of the 2023-2027 State-Region Plan Contracts (CPER), State-Region Interregional Plan Contracts (CPIER) and Overseas Convergence and Transformation Contracts (CCT).tat-région (CPER) plan contracts, inter-regional State-region (CPIER) plan contracts and overseas convergence and transformation contracts (CCT). "This represents an annual financial effort that is 50% higher than the contracts concluded over the previous contract period (2015-2020, extended to 2022)" - whose completion rate is said to be almost 96% -, the government stresses.The government's roadmap for the CPERs was not presented as planned on June 7 to the Council of Ministers by the Minister Delegate for Transport, Clément Beaune, a spokesperson told AFP. However, the prefects will still receive their framework letters, to discuss with the regions - but also with the agglomerations for the future metropolitan RER, whose official name is now "metropolitan regional express services" (Serm). "In previous contracts, the State put in less than 50% and the regions a little more. We're expecting more or less the same distribution," explained Clément Beaune in interviews with major titles in the regional daily press.
Priority to rail
Taken together, just over two-thirds of the sum put on the table by the government is to go to rail and public transport, which the executive sees as the first concrete step in the 100 billion plan for rail by 2040 announced in February.The State intends to contribute 2.5 billion euros to the railways for the modernization of short-distance lines, the development of freight traffic (500 million euros alone), the improvement of accessibility to the rail network and the improvement of the quality of service. alone), and making all priority national stations accessible to people with reduced mobility (also almost 500 million). In total, the annual amount devoted to rail is 90% higher than in previous contracts. Major projects such as the modernization of the rail network or new high-speed lines are not included in the CPER and "benefit from ad hoc funding", according to Clément Beaune.
A "priming envelope" of nearly 800 million is earmarked for the "regional RERs" called for by the French President last year (see our article of November 28, 2022). The government specifies, however, that these Serm contracts "are not limited to rail transport, and may also integrate other types of service, such as high service level coaches". "These contracts will be an opportunity for each region to define a local strategy for implementing these Serm, in conjunction with the metropolises and other local authorities concerned", it adds. Public transport is also to receive 2.6 billion euros.
Water and cycling
Still with the aim of encouraging modal shift, 500 million euros will be dedicated to ports and over 400 million to the river sector. In addition, as announced on May 5 at the first "cycling and walking" inter-ministerial committee (see our article of May 9, 2023), 200 million will be earmarked for cycle routes, to "complete the territorial coverage of these networks" (see our article of March 8, 2022). The government adds that an update of this scheme, which has just been approved by a decree(Outgoing link, new window) published on May 5, will be carried out "shortly".
Roads down sharply
The budget earmarked for roads has been sharply reduced "in order to free up the room for manoeuvre needed to finance low-carbon modes of transport", as the Ministry points out. It has thus been "halved", it points out, comparing the 1.6 billion euros that will be allocated to it over the period 2023-2027 with the 3.3 billion euros allocated over the periodeuros allocated over the 2015-2022 period, this time without making an annual comparison (320 million annually on the one hand, 412.5 million on the other). "We will be more selective when it comes to road projects", says the Ministry of Transport, adding that priority will be given to projects that involve regional development and opening up.
Time for negotiations
All that remains now is to reach an agreement with the regions. In addition to these sectoral priorities, the government warns that "the new contracts will require all registered projects to be subject to a careful examination of their carbon footprint". They will also be "an opportunity to formalize the joint commitment of the State and the regions to promote modal shift and changes in usage in favor of low-carbon mobility". They should also include "follow-up indicators" to "measure the success of this joint strategy in favor of decarbonization and the climate".
"The negotiation mandates detailing the framework of these contracts have just been sent to the regional prefects", says the ministry, where it is hoped that the contracts will be signed.It is hoped that negotiations "will be concluded as soon as possible", and at the latest "before the end of the summer". "The State is announcing its position, but negotiations will be more or less easy depending on the parties involved. Some regions will reach consensus very quickly, others less so", we believe. The government also indicates that the preparation of this mobility section "will have to involve the départements, metropolises and the main local authorities concerned". They will then be submitted "by the end of the year" to the environmental authority and to the general public for consultation. "The aim is to sign all the contracts by autumn", said Clément Beaune.
The Ministry of Transport did not provide a breakdown by region. But the President of the Île-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, reacted on June 7, on the sidelines of the launch of dynamic tests for the T12 tram-train at Evry-Courcouronnes (Essonne). "A little disappointment and a lot of relief", declared the elected representative, who is also Chairman of Île-de-France Mobilités."Disappointment" because she was asking the State for 4 billion - out of a 10 billion investment program - and "relief because the Conseil d'orientation des infrastructures proposed 2 billion". "We obtained 3 billion for the Île-de-France region, and the withdrawal of the new Paris-Normandy line", which will be financed separately, she told AFP.Valérie Pécresse added that she would shortly be calling a meeting of local elected representatives to sort out which projects could be financed and which could not.