In a leaked official document from 2014, it would appear that the French state and private motorway service providers reached an agreement that the latter party will be able to increase its rates and tolls every year between 2019 and 2023.
The document, which was recently released to the public by France 2, suggests that the tariff increases were a trade-off for the motorway companies who themselves pledged to finance 3.2 billion euros of works over the following 10 years (up to 2025). The companies were also promised ‘financial stability’ thanks to extensions on their concessions for France’s motorways.
Emmanuel Macron and Ségolène Royal were the signatories for the French state. Both criticised the companies and their influence in 2014, which led to a freezing of toll prices.
Independent regulator ARAFER (Autorité de Régulation des Activités Ferroviaires et Routières) has stated that the price hikes could cost road users as much as 500 million euros between 2019 and 2023. It’s a figure that the companies such as VINCI Autoroutes are challenging.
France has 9,137km of privatised motorways that are used by 30,000 vehicles a day on average. In 2016, the volume of traffic at toll booths increased by 2.5%. Annual revenue for the motorway service providers was estimated to be just short of 10 billion euros in 2016.