A public inquiry into the Oisans development plan and the proposed Alpe d’Huez to les Deux Alpes cable car link has severely criticised the project. The inquiry said the project was “short term” and didn’t take into sufficient account financial as well as environmental concerns.
On the positive side the inquiry noted that:
- The “flight” over the valley could be an interesting tourist experience
- The cable car will improve links with Freney d’Oisans
but wondered if even these positive aspects justify the investment.
However the report was damming with a shopping list of criticisms
- The cable car will function principally or only in the winter. There is no consideration of developing year round tourism or promoting the link as “urban transport”.
- Errors or inaccuracies in the proposal relating to the financial viability. The financial study was based on a different project.
- Unrealistic timescales for amortizing the investment. Originally 6 years, amended to 12 years but more realistically 30 years.
- No account taken of climate change.
- A sharp increase in lift pass prices for skiers.
- Journey time from Alpe d’Huez to les Deux Alpes closer to 45 minutes rather than the 30 minutes (amended from 12 minutes) in the proposal.
- Approximations based on the Paradiski project between les Arcs and la Plagne
- Estimations based on the number of cold beds that can be brought back into service and the construction of new beds which are totally unrealistic. 15,000 in the project but more likely to be 2,000.
- The choice of Mont de Lans (1300 meters) as the arrival point on the les Deux Alpes end concerns the inquiry.
- Insufficient studies concerning the environmental impact and the visual impact from the valley
- Impact of other commercial operations that will develop around the terminus
- No prevision for seasonaire beds associated with the project
- Size of car parking at Mont de Lans and Freney has not been estimated.
Does this finally bury this long running saga? Not yet, according to local politicians but it should be noted that the French government also has reservations about the link.
Alpe d'Huez - les Deux Alpes Cable Car project
Major setback for l'Alpe d'Huez expansion