Greater Montpellier winegrowers see red against greenways

Greater Montpellier winegrowers see red against greenways

Julie Frêche, accompanied by the mayors of Saint-Georges and Murviel, faces the farmers. Midi Libre – F.R.

Julie Frêche, vice-president of the Montpellier Metropolis, was this Thursday evening in Saint-Georges-d'Orques to defend her project for greenways on the paths that lead to the vineyards. Winegrowers are against it. And let him know. 

In Saint-Georges-d'Orques, this Thursday, February 15, Julie Frêche, vice-president of the Metropolis accompanied by Philippe Mauger, technical manager for the Piémont-Garrigues sector, the mayor, Jean-François Audrin, and Isabelle Touzard, mayor of Murviel-lès-Montpellier, received winegrowers, beekeepers, olive growers, farmers, horse owners, walkers, hunters and other users of the local roads.

Julie Frêche: "Know that nothing is imposed"

This meeting responded to a letter addressed to the Metropolis, to the prefect, to the mayors concerned, by a committee of farmers and users from several villages who are categorically opposed to the creation of Greenways in their professional space.

At 6:30 p.m., Jean-François Audrin welcomed the numerous visitors, leaving the floor to Julie Frêche who, firstly, presented the project; declaring in the preamble: "I have read your comments and am informed of what is problematic. This is the reason for my coming to discuss in a peaceful and constructive manner. (…) Please know that nothing is imposed and the reason for these greenways is to promote gentle modes of travel given the demographic explosion that we are facing with a surplus of more than 50% on the traffic axes."

A wine grower: "We would be demoted like second-class people"

Then she detailed the two possible options: the creation of cycle paths which would lead to expropriations and the creation of these greenways to secure the path for schoolchildren, who could thus go to bike to their middle or high school. She was interrupted on numerous occasions by vehement interlocutors telling her that it was a matter of debate. Several problems were reported by land users: on the "exemption"  which would be granted to them to maintain their vines:  "We would be demoted like second class people".

A "not categorical"

The winegrowers also recalled the ecological impact "by the aberration of the tar placed on these paths", the concern for the increase in walkers and cyclists when sulphating is carried out or plowing our vines, the thrown stones could injure, "the responsibility would fall on us"… And with one voice, it’s "one  not categorical to your greenways", which stood out. "Expropriate us along the roads to create cycle paths !"

Greater Montpellier winegrowers see red against greenways

Wine growers, but also market gardeners or beekeepers… from greater Montpellier. Midi Libre – F.R.

Very vigorous exchanges followed one another, a round table was also requested in the presence of a member of the Chamber of Agriculture as was the possible mobilization of tractors to demonstrate in Montpellier . Jean-François Audrin at the end of this meeting at 9 p.m. indicated that "the avenues mentioned would not fail to be studied".

Also read: "We are going to be expropriated from our activities" : greenways, a real dead end for farmers in the metropolis of Montpellier

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