French motorway toll charges set to rise next year

A queue of vehicles at a motorway toll area in Yvelines, near Paris, France
Photo: Stephane de Sakutin / AFP
Motorway tariffs in France are set to rise again next year, says the transport ministry.

Autoroute tolls are set to rise by more than two percent in the next three months, according to figures from France’s Ministry of Transport, in a further blow for motorists having to cope with rising prices at the fuel pumps.

France’s autoroute motorways are privately operated and have toll booths, known as péage, at regular intervals.

The ASF network, which is owned by Vinci, has put forward plans to increase tolls on its motorway network by 2.19 percent from February 1st, 2022, while Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône (APRR) is seeking an increase of 2.05 percent. 

The government has to formally approve these new rates. Strict contracts between the autoroute operators and the State provide for an annual automatic increase in tolls on February 1st, with calculations based on inflation and works undertaken on the network.

Inflation in France, driven by rising energy prices and the increased cost of manufactured goods, has been accelerating since the summer: from  1.2 percent in July, to 2.8 percent in November. 

But “[Autoroute] tolls on February 1st, 2022, will not increase more than inflation,” according to one source quoted by AFP.

In early 2019, at the height of the yellow vests protest, the government negotiated, after “intense discussions” with the motorway companies, a 30 percent cut in tolls for regular motorway users. 

The government ruled out the idea of ​​freezing toll prices, as the former Minister of Ecology Ségolène Royal had decided in 2015, because they would have had to be caught up later.

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