"No, it's not flan!" In a long series of tweets published on Monday, Transport Minister Clément Beaune responds to the controversy around the removal of "small lines" airlines, recorded by the publication Tuesday of the decree of application, but criticized for its lack of ambition in the eyes of environmental activists. "Obviously, we have to do more," confirms Clément Beaune.
The decree implementing the measure, whose spirit stems from the Citizens' Convention for the Climate, provides for the abolition of domestic airlines in the event that there is an alternative train of less than 2h30 and where it is possible to stay at least eight hours at destination and therefore to arrive early by train and leave late. Thus, only three lines have been removed in this way, between Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon and Paris-Orly. However, these same flights between Paris and Roissy are not concerned since it is the Roissy station that has been taken into account, and not the more easily accessible Parisian stations.
Rows already deleted
But as many environmental associations and activists have noted, the publication of the decree did not change anything since these airlines were already closed. "They did not close by the operation of the Holy Spirit... They closed because this formal ban was coming. This shows that this rule is effective, not the other way around! " defends Clément Beaune on Twitter.
While many of you have welcomed the removal of domestic flights when there is an alternative train of ➖ 2h30, I know that many question its relevance or impact.
No, it's not flan! Yes, this is a first! Obviously, we have to do ➕
— Clement Beaune (@CBeaune) May 29, 2023
"Yes, the lines between these cities and the Paris airport of Roissy are maintained, either because the travel time exceeds 2h30, or to ensure regular connections with international flights," justifies the Minister of Transport. "It would have been difficult legally, but above all it would mean depriving these metropolises, compared to Paris, of international connections essential to their economic life, to local employment," he continues, refuting a "transport policy from/for Paris only".
A list "reviewed every six months"
However, the text is not set in stone, says Clément Beaune. "The list of rail alternatives in 2h30 will be reviewed every six months," explains the minister, as he already had. In other words: if travel time is reduced or the frequency of trains is extended, then other lines could be abolished.
"We can be more demanding as we go along, by increasing the time taken into account (at least 3 hours for example) or by restricting the current criteria," also says the Minister of Transport. The Citizens' Convention for the Climate had voted to increase the duration of the alternative by train to 4 hours, and not 2h30 as decided by the government. Transport Minister Clément Beaune assures him: "Other lines will be closed."