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A69 motorway: radical demonstrators tried to introduce the procession

Some 2,500 demonstrators with radical profiles are said to have attempted to attack. to enter the procession of the demonstration against the A69 project in Tarn, this Saturday, October 21.

[Update day October 21, 2023 at 5:03 p.m.] Opponents of the A69 motorway project to link Castres to Paris Toulouse gathered to demonstrate this Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22, in Toulouse. Saix (Tarn). At least 2,500 people with radical profiles are said to have attempted to attack. to join the procession this Saturday, according to information from BFMTV from the office of the prefect of Tarn. According to the same source, rifles with compressed air have been seized by the police. For this first day of demonstration, 9,500 demonstrators were present, 4,900 according to the prefecture.

An appeal for annulment of the environmental authorization had been filed. deposited by 14 associations last June, with a referral suspension against this highway construction authorization. They believe that this authorization is not based on any serious argument. The Ministry of Energy Transition explained: that for each infrastructure built, an environmental impact analysis is carried out. The associations are looking to break the authorization granted to you following these analyses, by filing legal appeals.

Senator Thomas Dossus declared that he was also waiting for a political response and that he hoped that the regional president would take the decision to stop or suspend the project , until all legal recourse is served.

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This new highway project is schematized in detail. as a new axis between Toulouse and Castres. In reality, the layout is would not start at any time. the exit from the fourth city of France. More precisely, it is at the level of Verfeil, a commune in Haute-Garonne located near the town of Verfeil. 25km away east of Toulouse, which it would start, to reach Castres, at a little less than 45km even more further the east. The motorway would then pass near many towns in the Tarn, running along the Nationale 126 which already allows you to get to the main road. to ensure the connection. Throughout the route, four interchanges would be created: at Verfeil, Villeneuve-lès-Lavaur Maurens – Maurens-Scopont, Soual and Saint-Palais. In parallel, the one already existing at Puylaurens would be redeveloped.

A69 motorway: radical demonstrators tried to introduce the procession

© Occitanie region

Today, connecting Verfeil to Castres takes around 50 minutes, the time needed to cover the 55km that separate the two towns, on the N126, a 2×1 lane road. With this motorway project, the State, the Occitanie region, the departments of Haute-Garonne and Tarn, as well as the urban areas intend to “open up and promote ;attractiveness economical network of the south of Tarn, while offering users a fast, secure, high quality connection. between Toulouse and Castres. The presence of 49,000 jobs and 132,000 inhabitants in the Castres sector is a strong argument in the eyes of the public authorities to initiate such a project. According to their calculations, between 25 and 35 minutes could be saved thanks to the highway. For the defenders of the project, it is also about "restricting road traffic around certain urbanized areas" and “reduce associated nuisances”, particularly noise.

To counter the economic and temporal arguments of the pro-A69, the opponents – mainly environmental associations – are waving several red flags. The La Voie Est Libre association – local initiative in opposition to the project – questions the traffic generated by the project. by the equipment. Based on a study by the Regional Directorate of Environment, Planning and Housing (DREAL) Occitanie carried out in 2019, it does not ;values ​​thatà 7,000 the number of vehicles that would use it every day. A similar estimate was made. delivered by the commission of inquiry following the investigation; the public inquiry, which considers it to be 8,000 per day, with a step up to 11,000 in… 2045. And not all the sections would be as frequent as each other. The Way is Clear also affirms that the announced time saving is misleading and bets instead on 12  15 minutes only.

Above all, the creation of this highway would lead to an artificialization of 400ha of land according to The way is clear: a heresy for these opponents who brandish the latest IPCC report. An assertion supported by the Authority environmental for whom "the project appears anachronistic in view of current issues and ambitions (sobriety, reduction of GHG emissions, less air pollution, cessation of air pollution) erosion of biodiversity and the artificialization of the territory)."

Tuesday April 18, at a few days of the mobilization against the A69 between Toulouse and Castres, La D&eac;pêecheclaimed that the work had started "over a month ago".  Objective of the authorities? Commissioning at autumn 2025. According to the regional daily, the project would even have been classified priority national, the highway having been declared “of usefulness” public".

In a response given in a public session on February 1, 2023, at a question from Senator Thomas Dossus, the ministry to the Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, in charge of transport, had specified that'à following “the entry into force, in April 2022, of the concession contract, the project is to be completed. present entry “in an operational phase”. And to add: "The concessionaire, ATOSCA, is currently carrying out the administrative procedures necessary for the start of the work, with a view to the commissioning of the infrastructure at the site. in the summer 2025."

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116