Val de Sambre moves rapidly forward with upgraded bus network

The Viavil project involves a major overhaul of the bus transport service in the Val de Sambre area of Nord-Pas-de-Calais. The project will cover 8.4 km of bus network roads and result in more efficient, competitive and environmental friendly public transport.

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Val de Sambre's population numbering some 123 000 will be among the direct beneficiaries, with decreased pollution levels, including noise pollution and fuel consumption, a drop in car traffic volumes, journey time-savings and greater frequency of transport services provided.

Residents heading towards new horizons

The central focus of the Viavil project is improved mobility for everyone in Val de Sambre and beyond, with a more comprehensive range of services, notably through better intermodality. The works cover the development of bus stations, bridges and other infrastructure, making journeys smoother and easier for passengers. In parallel with this, the increased frequency of public transport should help boost the economic profitability of the STIBUS network. A more interconnected network will also contribute to improving territorial cohesion with better connection options for the key hubs in the area, including large towns and airports, but also greater access to certain areas that until recently have been poorly served by public transport.

Buses cover more ground

The project’s key indicators speak volumes in terms of the benefits of the project. Once fully operational, the network will see 3.5 million bus-km travelled, up from 2.5 million prior to the project. Other results include: 3 131 fewer vehicle-km per day during rush hour, a 2-minute time-saving per journey, increased frequency (10 to 20 minutes, compared to 30 to 90 minutes before the project), and by 2018 a staggering 13 561 km per day of services.

Comprehensive development plan

The local economy stands to gain, not only through the creation of direct jobs (300 during the initial works; 33 once the network is operational), but also the greater access to business centres, helping to make the region a more attractive place in which to conduct business, while the environmental and quality of life positives come in the form of reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions. This bus-oriented project also complements other large urban development projects in the Val de Sambre region, including road and esplanade developments and the creation of landscaped green spaces.

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