HASlet’s face it: by warning, Tuesday November 14, that travel conditions in the Paris region will be “hardcore” in the summer of 2024, during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Clément Beaune both surprised us, regarding the tone of the remarks, and left us perplexed, regarding the induced – or even sought-after – effect.
Astonished, because with the words he chose to use, the Minister of Transport broke with months of speeches from the various actors of Paris 2024, always voluntarily cheerful, optimistic, civilized and without too many rough edges – the “ Everything is fine “to sum up.
This is almost the first time that one of these actors has opted for a rather crude and truthful discourse, one could say, to describe the reality of what is one of the major issues in the organization of Games: yes, this question of transport is a complicated subject to manage; yes, this does not look easy to set up.
This, however, is where perplexity comes into play. By thus depicting a summer that promises to be more than tough in terms of travel in Paris and its surroundings, what are the Minister of Transport and, more broadly, the government trying to do?
A majority of Ile-de-France residents willing to leave the capital
In any case, this declaration comes as a complicated period begins at the end of the year with the presentation of the constraints and inconveniences that the Games will cause. To take this step without too many problems, it will be necessary to work on information in advance, then explanations and transparency, in order to place all those who will be concerned in a position to not simply suffer.
Therefore, announce, ex abrupto, a summer “hardcore” is this the best way to achieve this? Mr. Beaune certainly completed his remarks by emphasizing that there will be “an information campaign”, a presentation “by the end of November, at the very beginning of December at the latest, traffic plans” And “a consultation phase until the beginning of next year” with stakeholders in the economic sector (notably those in the hotel and catering industry to whom he spoke on Tuesday).
However, at the same time, the Minister of Transport said that it will be important to “ensure that we have a little less unnecessary travel during the Games”. Added to its apocalyptic description of the summer of 2024, this little sentence is likely to suggest that, if the government sought to convince Parisians, and Ile-de-France residents in general, to be absent from the capital and its surroundings during the Games, he would hardly do it any other way.
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