The price of tolls will increase further in 2020

The price of tolls will increase further in 2020

Faced with this increase, the Secretary of State for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari says he does not refrain from thinking about a return of the management of the motorways in the hands of the State once the contracts with the concessionaires have expired.

No gift for motorists this year again. The Secretary of State in charge of transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, guest of the “Grand Jury RTL-Le Figaro-LCI” on Sunday, confirmed that the price of tolls would increase by “1 to 1.5% from February 1, 2020“, after an increase of 1.8 to 1.9% last year at the same period.

Nothing new, recalls the Minister, since this development is part of the contracts and agreements signed by the State and the motorway companies. “The contracts provide for increases each year depending on the level of inflation (up to 70%, editor’s note) and other parameters. Each year the State respects this contract, analyzes the motorway proposals and endorses what the contract says“, thus specified Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.

If no figure has yet been put forward concerning this upcoming increase, it is because inflation for the month of October has not yet been communicated by INSEE, explains to the Association of Societies French highways (ASFA).

But unlikely to hope for a drop in prices. After a year of frost in 2015 and shortfalls due to several weekends, motorway companies want to catch up until 2023. Launched at the end of his presidential mandate and valued at 700 million euros, this plan included, among other things, the creation of parking spaces dedicated to carpooling.

A potential takeover of the highways by the state?

If this measure is questionable according to him, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari however called to respect the choices of the government: “Every year, [cette hausse] is provided for in the contracts. I can only deplore it, as a citizen, but it was signed by politicians and politicians in power. We could be ”demagos” and say that the State no longer respects any contract, with private companies or even with citizens. I don’t think that’s reasonable speech.»

Faced with this new increase, the Secretary of State again raised the idea. A prospect he was already thinking about when he was a deputy. “I had made a proposal which aimed to say that between 2031 and 2036, the largest motorway concessions expire, and that we must therefore prepare the continuation“, he said.

This “after» could take two forms: continue the management of highways and roads not conceded by the concessions or take it over at the state level.Both of these options are on the table“, affirmed Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, who indicated already receiving the motorways and working “with his serviceson the question, more than ten years, then Prime Minister of Jacques Chirac.

In 2005, believing that the state sector had reached maturity and seeking funds to finance future projects, the government sold its shares for almost 15 billion euros. But very quickly, the rates charged by the Vinci, Abertis and Eiffage groups, which share the bulk of the cake, had aroused the dissatisfaction of motorists. In 2013, the Court of Auditors had even pinned the State, considering that it would have “accepted to compensate by price increases a large number of small-scale investments, the usefulness of which for the user was not always proven.»

A point of view that is not shared by motorway companies, for whom these prices are necessary to finance the modernization and renovation of the French network, of which