September 19, 2014

Toll Roads Rip Off France

The French equivalent of the monopolies and mergers commission the “Competition Authority” (Autorité de la Concurrence) published a report that was leaked to the French newspaper Les Echoes.

The report stated that the prices being charged on toll roads in France are extortionate. Extortionate wasn't the actual word they used but they went as far as they could in that direction.

Toll Roads France

This report won’t surprise anyone who drives via motorways in France, we all know the toll charges are ridiculous. Even though this report is good news, whether it will lead to anything being done about it is another matter. At least it’s nice to see the commission coming out on the side of motorists over this issue.

They do at least propose to change the way the toll charge prices are indexed linked towards inflation but as the existing agreements are set in stone they cannot be amended until they are up for renewal and the date for that is 2027 at the earliest.

The commission would rather the charges be based on traffic flow, so if the numbers rose, they would actually charge less. It sounds obvious to me but if they lowered the prices the traffic would increase dramatically.

When you can spend about £50 just doing a round trip from Lyon to Paris it really is getting silly.

The firms that hold the licences are making profits of between 20-24% and the commission feels this is not reasonable based on their costs or risks they face. In recent years they have installed more and more automatic payment tolls to reduce staffing costs but have still increased prices ever faster.

No wonder I like driving in Brittany so much!

Toll Calculator France

If you see this post about Tolls in France you will find a link to an excellent French website that will help you calculate toll charges before you set off on your trip.


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