The Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, assures that the rise in tolls will be lower than inflation, despite the demands of the highway companies.
The annual increase in motorway prices should remain “reasonable” at the beginning of 2023, the Delegate Minister for Transport said on franceinfo on Friday. “I want a reasonable increase but it will not be in the order of magnitude of 7-8%,” said Clément Beaune.
Highway tolls increase each year, usually on February 1, according to a calculation that takes into account the rate of inflation and the jobs of the concessionaires. According to Le Monde newspaper, highway companies mentioned an increase of up to 8% during ongoing talks with the Ministry of Transport. The price increase was 2% on average this year. “If we were to apply things automatically, we would potentially be at very high increases,” in this order of magnitude, and it would be “unsustainable,” Mr. Beaune said on the radio.
The president of the senators, LR Bruno Retailleau, said on Friday “shocked by the indecency of highway companies demanding an 8% increase in tolls” in 2023. “In the midst of a crisis of purchasing power of the French already strangled by the price of gasoline (…) this request is scandalous”, estimated Mr. Retailleau in a press release.
“We pay investments for security”, according to Clément Beaune
The Minister of Transport stressed that “the use of the car will cost more, it is inevitable, in the coming years.” But “what we pay to the highways is investment, I don’t want them to stop investing in safety,” he said.
Bruno Retailleau, president of the LR group in the Senate and candidate for the presidency of the party, indicated for his part that he wanted to “rebalance” the “scandalously favorable” conditions from which these companies benefited “when the State granted them our motorway service “. Last year he presented a bill “to review highway company contracts and ensure a balanced distribution of profits in[…]