Baptiste Morin with AFP / Photo credits: MAGALI COHEN / HANS LUCAS / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP 07:45, 05 December 2023

The annual increase in motorway tolls will be "less than 3%" in 2024, Transport Minister Clément Beaune said at the end of November, against a backdrop of controversy with concession companies over an increase in taxation. But another figure is circulating for 2025, that of 6%. Where does this figure come from?

The government promised on Wednesday that the annual increase in motorway tolls would be "less than 3%" in 2024. This increase applied every February 1 had been 4.75% on average this year, a consequence in particular of inflation. "Next year, there will be an increase that will be limited, an increase that will be less than 3%," promised Transport Minister Clément Beaune.

One of France's main motorway concessionaires, Vinci, has claimed that tolls will rise by 5% if a tax on motorway concessions foreseen in the 2024 draft budget is implemented. The tax on "long-distance transport infrastructure" decided by Bercy in the name of the ecological transition is supposed to bring in 600 million euros per year from 2024, of which three quarters of the revenue would come from the road sector and a quarter from the air sector, according to Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire.

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Threat of a 6% fare hike brandished by motorway concessionaires

Except that Clément Beaune has promised an increase of less than 3% and the motorway concessionaires therefore want to pass on the weight of the new contribution from 2025. Thus, they are threatening a 6% increase in tariffs. "Illegal," replies the Minister of Transport. According to the law, the fare is calculated on the basis of inflation and the investments made on the motorway portions. "Wrong," say the motorway concessionaires. If costs change, rates must follow. The Vinci and Eiffage groups have already announced that they will not hesitate to take the matter to court.