Currently, the map of the Commission's priority programmes does not mention any project being underway to effectively connect the Atlantic Arc to Italy, and Brittany to the Iberian Peninsula.
Via Atlantica satisfies the objectives of multiple public policies:
In fact, on a European scale, the Via Atlantica, a genuine backbone, would improve the consistency and homogeneity of the Union, facilitating the circulation of goods and passengers. It would lead the national railway networks to cooperate in order to ensure interoperability.
It is likely to contain or even reduce road and air transport, and consequently greenhouse gas emissions, to meet the European objective for reducing them by 60% before 2050. It therefore participates in tackling global warming. It also decreases the consumption of hydrocarbons and responds to concerns about energy efficiency with the shortcut between the Iberian Peninsula and Lyon, serving as a tool for our energy independence.
Via Atlantica will bring the Atlantic Arc closer to the large business areas of Central Europe and the Po Valley. The ports on the Atlantic Coast, in particular those of Brest, Nantes - St-Nazaire , La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Bilbao, Santander, Gijon, La Coruna, Vigo, and Aveiro will develop, as a result of the growth of their hinterland, with the inclusion of the Italian ports of Genoa, Venice and Trieste in the network.
Via Atlantica will open up the regions of the Western Iberian Peninsula, as well as Aquitaine and Lower Normandy, in tandem with the line linking Caen-Le Mans-Tours, Brittany, Pays de la Loire, Poitou-Charentes , Central France, Limousin, Auvergne, and the Rhône-Alpes region towards the West, and will serve as a tool for the economic development of the Northern part of the Massif Central.
The three traditional French transversal rail links - which the Via Atlantica will replace with fast inter-city connections (Rennes-Nantes-Lyon, Bordeaux-Lyon and Caen/Quimper-Rennes- Nantes-Bordeaux) - will continue to serve the territories' smaller stations?.
By creating a "network effect", the Via Atlantica will help improve the economic and financial profitability of the high-speed LGV lines of Rhine-Rhône, Lyon-Turin, Y Basque and the Spanish high-speed AVE lines to the West of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Via Atlantica will incorporate the airports located in the served territory into the network.
In addition, this transversal high-throughput rail connection will avoid transits through the Île de France region and the Rhone valley, where the infrastructures are congested, while generating operational and energy savings. This will be particularly the case for Iberian Peninsula - Northern Italy - Central Europe traffic.
Finally, the increased flows of passengers travelling by rail will allow air transport to be broadly redirected on intercontinental routes.
The Via Atlantica constitutes an advantageous complement to the Mediterranean corridor, especially with the natural extension of the Lyon-Turin line towards the Atlantic, allowing it to shed its dead end status.
The Via meets the three criteria necessary to qualify for official planning: intermodality, balanced spatial planning of the European territory and energy transition tool.
ALTRO's action has been decisive for integrating the East-West Bar (art. 11 of Implementing Law for Grenelle 1 on the environment), through the design of the Via Atlantica, into the National Transport Infrastructure Plan (SNIT) project.