By Writing Bordeaux
Once is not custom: this Wednesday, October 5, 2022 in the morning, bargescranes, cargo trucks and cargo bikes have replaced morning joggers on the docks of Bordeaux (Gironde).
This effervescence, unusual on the quai richelieu, results from a new experimentation of river freight in the city, on the initiative of the Town hall, the Metropolis and Fertile Garonne. This collective, made up of producers, transporters and restaurateurs, was already at the origin of a first, conclusive trial, initiated in May 2021.
Experience the greatness of nature
Objective displayed by the slew of parties concerned, present during this exceptional unloading: “to test in actual conditions logistics that are currently under-exploited on the Garonne”, explains Jean Touzeau, vice-president of the Métropole.
And thus, rethinking this famous “last kilometer” in a more ecological way.
Concretely, this Wednesday, 30 tons were delivered to three unloading areas contained on the quays of Bordeaux: construction materials on the quay of Bacalan, bio-waste on the quay of La Grave, and agricultural products from Lot-et -Garonne, Richelieu quay.
After two days of two-day trip, the goods were picked up by cargo bikes or vans from theRemue-Ménage workshopfor the heaviest packages.
Unclog the ring road
On paper, this type of river freight has many advantages. It is already a low emitter of greenhouse gases. And could allow, in the long term, to unclog the ring road and the city center, thanks to the modal ratio. “In Strasbourg, where the river service is well established (three trips per day), with a boat with a carrying capacity of 122 tonnes: this saves 150 vans for each trip and reduces CO2 emissions by 90%”, points out Thomas Castan, president of ULS, who admits to working on the Bordeaux case for a year.
But in its realization, it comes up against some pitfalls. The tides, which constrain the access capacity of boats in the heart of the city. The quays, long used for logistics, are now more intended for leisure and soft mobility, “It will be difficult to put back hard functions, such as logistics, without taking into account the existing one”, estimates François Le Gac, director of the River Mission.
There also remains the constraint, imposed by the Unesco classification of the city of Bordeaux, to submit the new developments to the approval of the architect of the buildings of France.
It is not tomorrow that we will see barges crossing the port of the Moon. No timetable has been set for the moment, but François Le Gac insists: “The timetable is as soon as possible! »
On the business side, too, expectations are high. Christophe Delpino, representative of the Biocoop network in Gironde, put a lot of emphasis on these new ecologically virtuous shuttles: “We have a weekly flow of goods that takes this path. In our quest for ecological transition, it seems very relevant to us to operate this modal relationship. We have a houseboat which will be ready in January. We are only waiting for the response of elected officials, so that they can tell us where to land,” he said.
It plans, from 2023, to organize services on a bi-monthly basis.
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