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€15m Dordogne bypass works to be dismantled

Protesters are celebrating after France’s highest administrative court ordered a partly-built bypass to be dismantled and the beauty spot to be returned to its original state.

The €32million Dordogne Valley project at Beynac is in the heart of a Unesco biosphere and a Natura 2000 site.

Protester Jean-François Vidalie, of Sauvons La Vallée de la Dordogne, described it as “a phenomenal waste of money”.

The Conseil Départemental had spent €15million of its budget for the 3.5km road, with two bridges and a tunnel, when the Conseil d’Etat ordered work to be stopped in December.

Bordeaux Tribunal Admin-istratif had ruled there was insufficient public interest to justify the project.

The council says it will appeal as it wants to improve traffic flow between Sarlat and Bergerac and reduce delays in historic Beynac.

Dordogne MP Jacqueline Dubois said she had warned it was unwise “to start work before all potential legal proceedings had been exhausted”. Historian and TV presenter Stéphane Bern said the result was “good news”.

Opponents said road widening in Beynac had already helped and congestion for two months of the year did not justify the plan. Mr Vidalie said: “There are other solutions.”

But a residents’ association said the ruling was a scandal.

Stéphanie Berbessou, of J’aime Beynac et sa Vallée, told Connexion: “Bigger lorries are coming through the village.

“We see the bypass as the only realistic solution.”

See also: Beynac bypass halted after €15m work and Crane protest halts Dordogne bypass

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