|The central Bordeaux tram and bus network in 1940 as featured in "l'Histoire des Tramways et omnibus à Bordeaux" and previously published by in Mysticktroy's Blogpaper.|
By the 1970s, the uglier side of the age of the automobile was only too plain to see, and Bordeaux drivers and commuters regularly had to contend with gridlocked roads and boulevards. At the time an underground transport system was considered but the project was soon dropped because drilling through the city’s swampy terrain would have had disastrous consequences below the surface and at ground level.
|How the VAL network would have looked. |
(Source: “De la ville à la métropole, 40 ans d’urbanisme à Bordeaux”)
With the exception of the Communist representatives, the project was initially supported by all parties and the Chamber of Trade and Industry. But as the plans began to take shape, cracks began to show. Members of the general public (some of whom joined forces to form the association Trans'Cub) were also increasingly vocal about their reservations, favouring a shift back to trams.
1989 news report previewing the VAL network in Bordeaux:
* In his foreword to the book “De la ville à la métropole, 40 ans d’urbanisme à Bordeaux”
- Further information about VAL light-railway networks, which are operational in Lille, Toulouse, Rennes and at Paris Orly and Roissy airports.
- Additional 1988 news report on progress, worth viewing until the end if only to briefly see the newsreader's massive shoulder pads.
- Excellent piece about this subject on Mysticktroy's Blogpaper.