The annual increase in motorway prices should remain “reasonable” at the start of 2023, the Minister Delegate for Transport said on Friday on franceinfo. “I want a reasonable increase but it will not be in the order of magnitude of 7-8%”, indicated Clément Beaune. Motorway tolls increase every year, usually on February 1, according to a calculation that takes into account the rate of inflation and the work undertaken by the concession companies.
A 2% increase in prices on average in 2022
According to the daily The world, motorway companies have mentioned an increase of up to 8% during ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Transport. The price increase was 2% on average this year. “If we applied things automatically, we would potentially be on very high increases”, in this order of magnitude, and it would be “unsustainable”, indicated Clément Beaune on the radio.
The president of senators LR Bruno Retailleau said on Friday “stunned by the indecency of motorway companies which are demanding an 8% increase in tolls” in 2023. “In the midst of a crisis of purchasing power for the French already strangled by the price of gasoline (…) this request is scandalous”, estimated Bruno Retailleau in a press release.
Don’t stop investing in security
The Minister of Transport stressed that “the use of the car will cost more, it is inevitable, in the years to come”. 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 “outrageously favorable” conditions which these companies “benefited from when the State granted them our public highway service” .
Bruno Retailleau filed a bill last year “to review the contracts of motorway companies and ensure a balanced sharing of profits between users, licensing authorities and concessionaires”. This text has not yet been placed on the Senate’s agenda. The main motorway networks made a small gesture this summer by granting up to 25 euros in reductions on toll expenses paid in holiday vouchers, while the rise in fuel prices weighed down the holiday budget.
After reaching 5.8% this year, inflation will evolve next year in a range between 4.2% and 6.9%, according to projections.