LGV Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
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The LGV Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, also referred to as the LGV PACA and LGV Côte d'Azur, is a high-speed rail project intended to extend the LGV Méditerranée towards the Côte d'Azur. Operations are set to begin around 2020.
- The option providing the most time saving between Nice and Avignon uses the speed of the Paris-Nice connection to offer the largest potential clientele base (to compete with one of the strongest internal air traffic routes)
- The most northern route is the shortest between Avignon and Nice and may have a station serving the 'pole scientifique' close to Cadarache
- The longest route passes by Marseille and Toulon, offering the quickest travel time between Marseille and Nice (1:10)
Additional connections between the mediterranean coast between Barcelona, Montpellier, Marseille, Nice and Genoa and the southern cross route towards Toulouse and Bordeaux would be affected; the new line would link Marseille to Genoa in 3:15, and Barcelona in 3:35 (thanks to the LGV Perpignan-Figueres).
The final route alignment decision and its details were announced by French Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo on 30 June 2009, opting for the longest route via Marseille, Toulon, and Nice.
This project was subject to public debate between 21 February and 8 July 2005.
There was much local opposition to the project, particularly by various environmental organisations. Additionally differences of opinion due to the vested interests of the three départements concerned (Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and Alpes-Maritimes) caused friction. Local elected officials have approved the project and the presidents of the general committees of the three départements have agreed to propose an alternative route in order to reconcile their respective positions.