Bordeaux guide - Victoria Nabholz
Bordeaux guide - Victoria Nabholz
Bordeaux guide - Victoria Nabholz

Bordeaux guide - Victoria Nabholz/ Blog

Transport in Bordeaux

12 September 2017

By Road

Bordeaux is an important road and motorway junction. The city is connected to Paris by the A10 motorway, with Lyon by the A89, with Toulouse by the A62, and with Spain by the A63. There is a 45 km (28 mi) ring road called the "Rocade" which is often very busy. Another ring road is under consideration.

Pont-de-Pierre
Bordeaux has five road bridges that cross the Garonne, the Pont de pierre built in the 1820s and three modern bridges built after 1960: the Pont Saint Jean, just south of the Pont de pierre (both located downtown), the Pont d'Aquitaine, a suspended bridge downstream from downtown, and the Pont François Mitterrand, located upstream of downtown. These two bridges are part of the ring road around Bordeaux. A fifth bridge, the Pont Jacques-Chaban-Delmas, was constructed in 2009–2012 and opened to traffic in March 2013. Located halfway between the Pont de pierre and the Pont d'Aquitaine and serving downtown rather than highway traffic, it is a vertical-lift bridge with a height comparable to the Pont de pierre in closed position, and to the Pont d'Aquitaine in open position. All five road bridges, including the two highway bridges, are open to cyclists and pedestrians as well. Another bridge, the Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc, is to be built in 2018.[25]


Lacking any steep hills, Bordeaux is relatively friendly to cyclists. Cycle paths (separate from the roadways) exist on the highway bridges, along the riverfront, on the university campuses, and incidentally elsewhere in the city. Cycle lanes and bus lanes that explicitly allow cyclists exist on many of the city's boulevards. A paid Bicycle sharing system with automated stations has been established in 2010.


The main railway station, Gare de Bordeaux Saint-Jean, near the center of the city, has 4 million passengers a year. It is served by the French national (SNCF) railway's high speed train, the TGV, that gets to Paris in two hours, with connections to major European centers such as Lille, Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne, Geneva and London. The TGV also serves Toulouse and Irun from Bordeaux. A regular train service is provided to Nantes, Nice, Marseille and Lyon. The Gare Saint-Jean is the major hub for regional trains (TER) operated by the SNCF to Arcachon, Limoges, Agen, Périgueux, Pau, Le Médoc, Angoulême and Bayonne.
Historically the train line used to terminate at a station on the right bank of the river Garonne near the Pont de Pierre, and passengers crossed the bridge to get into the city. Subsequently, a double-track steel railway bridge was constructed in the 1850s, by Gustave Eiffel, to bring trains across the river direct into Gare de Bordeaux Saint-Jean. The old station was later converted and in 2010 comprised a cinema and restaurants.


The two-track Eiffel bridge with a speed limit of 30 km/h (19 mph) became a bottleneck and a new bridge was built, opening in 2009. The new bridge has 4 tracks and allows trains to pass at 60 km/h (37 mph).[26] During the planning there was much lobbying by the Eiffel family and other supporters to preserve the old bridge as a footbridge across the Garonne, with possibly a museum to document the history of the bridge and Gustave Eiffel's contribution. The decision was taken to save the bridge, but by early 2010 no plans had been announced as to its future use. The bridge remains intact, but unused and without any means of access.
Since July 2017, the LGV Sud Europe Atlantique is fully operational and makes Bordeaux city 2h04 from Paris.