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French motorway toll fees to be slashed for frequent drivers

France's Ministry of Transport and major motorway companies have agreed that motorists who use the country's autoroutes will benefit from a discount on the pricey tolls (peages).

French motorway toll fees to be slashed for frequent drivers
File photo: AFP
The new scheme is great news for motorists in France, particularly anyone who uses the motorways to commute.
 
From February, all motorists who make at least ten round trips a month on the same route will benefit from a 30 percent discount at toll booths (peages) from the very first journey.
 
Drivers will need to subscribe for the deal which they will be able to do from February 1st, with the threshold low enough to be accessible to those who work part time. 
 
Motorists who already benefit from local subscriptions that provide preferential rates to frequent drivers will also be free to subscribe to the new offer and the price of the subscription will not exceed 2.50 euros per month.
 
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What you need to know about driving on France's motorwaysPhoto: AFP

The scheme coincides with the planned price hike at motorway tolls, which is set to go up by an average of 1.8 percent on February 1st. 
 
The Ministry of Transport has laid out exactly what the scheme will mean for drivers in terms of savings. 
 
For example, in 2018, a motorist making ten trips a month between Verdun and Metz (using the A4 motorway) in the north east of France had to spend 102 euros per month on tolls but in 2019, this price will drop to 72.80 euros, representing a saving of 29.20 euros per month. 
 
Meanwhile drivers making ten trips a month between Pont-d'Ain and Beynost (using the A42 motorway) in eastern France had to pay 84 euros per month but in 2019, that cost will drop to 60.20 euros, meaning savings of 23.80 euros per month.
 
And a motorist making ten return trips per month between Nîmes and Montpellier (using the A9 motorway) in southern France had to pay 60 euros per month in 2018 but in 2019 the cost will drop to 43.40 euros, representing savings of 16.60 euros per month. 
 
According to French press reports, the government created the deal to avoid angering drivers, as well as to avoid the subject of the renationalising the motorways being raised in the public debate (le Grand Debat) currently being held by French President Emmanuel Macron in an effort to appease the yellow vests. 
 
 

Member comments

  1. Paris to Marseilles = 60 euros in tolls ONE WAY. Yes, renationalise the highways. (France is “socialist”…hilarious.)

  2. Ok, so you nationalise the autoroutes. I presume you mean they should then be free to use? (Nationalising them but still charging would save less than 3-5% on tolls, at the most, and probably nothing as extra fixed costs would be needed for more state employees.) Who then pays for their upkeep? Should I pay through my extra income taxes and/or extra petrol tax, even though I hardly ever use them?

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Drivers in France to be spied on by 400 ‘super speed cameras’

Hundreds of hi-tech “speed cameras of the future” are to be be installed this year on roads across France, which has had three quarters of its existing cameras vandalised since the start of the “yellow vest” protests several months ago.

Drivers in France to be spied on by 400 'super speed cameras'
A vandalised speed camera in Corsica in December. Photo: AFP

The cameras, perched on four-metre tall posts, have been tested in Marseille and Strasbourg and now 400 of them will be rolled out over the coming year, with three times that number to be set up next year, France Info reported.

The devices are capable of not only clocking your speed but also recording a variety of other misdemeanours, such as phoning while driving, sudden swerving, not wearing a seatbelt, or overtaking on the right, which is illegal in France.

But in the short term the cameras, whose brand name is the Mesta Fusion 2 and which can monitor eight lanes of traffic and several vehicles at once, will be used only to catch people speeding.

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There will be four decoy cameras for each operating one, and the decoys and the real ones will be switched regularly to prevent drivers figuring out which are the ones catching them breaking the law.

The new cameras are said to be far harder to vandalise than existing ones.

 

The French government last week blamed a steep rise in road deaths in February on the yellow vest movement, during which three quarters of speed cameras on the country’s roads have been vandalised or put out of action in recent months.

Official figures said that 253 people were killed on the roads in France in February, a 17.1 percent increase on the same time last year.

Previously road deaths had been going down. There were 3,259 deaths on the country's roads in 2018 – down from 3,448 deaths the previous year.

But they have started to rise again since the yellow vest movement began late last year.

Some protesters angry about planned rises in fuel tax and the rising costs of travel to work, and about a recent lowering of speed limits on some roads, turned their ire on speed cameras.

 
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