• France's news in English

VIDEO: Lyon opens world's first green tunnel

Dan MacGuill · 6 Dec 2013, 11:44

Published: 06 Dec 2013 11:44 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The tunnel under the Lyon's city centre Croix-Rousse hill, known as “Le Tube”, was opened to the public for the first time on Thursday evening, amid much local fanfare.

“This is a world first, and just like with the Festival of Lights, we will soon be imitated,” Lyon mayor Gérard Collomb told the assembled French media on Thursday.

The Croix-Rousse hill already has a car tunnel stretching under it, bringing together the Saône and Rhône rivers, and Thursday’s innovation effectively adds a second route to that passage, according to AFP.

The newly-opened Tube allows buses to pass on one lane, with cyclists and pedestrians sharing the other. 

Traffic on the route is not yet 100-percent green, given the diesel fuel used by certain buses, but regional official Jean-Luc de Passano on Thursday told AFP that "four types of hybrid bus are in a trial period" in the city of Lyon.

Pedestrians marvel at Lyon's brand new eco-friendly tunnel. Photo: Philippe Merle/AFP

With the help of Paris company Skertzo, travellers can enjoy an eccentric mix of sound effects on their trip, and the walls of the two-kilometre tunnel are emblazoned with spectacular, shifting projections of everything from abstract art to a virtual garden.

The “art installation” feel is in keeping with the city of Lyon’s world-famous annual Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights), which is set to begin on Friday evening.

The tunnel, now open to the public, will shut down nightly between 12.30 am and 5 am.

Story continues below…

The project was overseen by Vinci Construction, at a total cost of €282.8 million ($386 m).

So what it’s like? Enjoy the sights and sounds of one cyclist’s first trip across the brand new tunnel, with this condensed, “handlebar-cam” video.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available