Drivers in France may see a discount for travelling on France’s toll roads this summer.
Last year, route operators offered electronic toll route badge holders discounts of up to 10% on road travel, if they paid tolls with chèques vacances (holiday vouchers).
Now France’s transport minister, Clément Beaune, is calling for “at least an equivalent gesture this year,” from motorway companies.
He said he would discuss the proposals in more depth with operators next week, adding that drivers in France “need this gesture,” due to the context of “inflation and difficulties over purchasing power”.
Families at centre of demand
Many French motorways include tolls that can either be paid using cash, a card, or using an electronic badge (télépéage) given to drivers by the route operator.
In some instances, they can also be paid using holiday vouchers through the motorway operator's télépéage service.
The discounts last year – for those who used holiday vouchers to pay tolls – applied to nearly 5 million French workers who receive the vouchers on an annual basis.
With the French summer holidays soon approaching, millions of families are expected to once again drive to coastal holiday locations or to visit family and friends across the country, traversing tolled roads.
The transport minister sees these families as the principal beneficiaries of any discounts offered this year.
“I'm not the minister for motorway companies, I'm the minister for all French people who go on holiday and who also travel by car,” he said during an interview with RTL on Wednesday (June 7).
️ @CBeaune appelle les sociétés d'autoroutes à baisser les tarifs des péages : "Je pense qu'il est important qu'elles fassent un geste commercial d'au moins 10% pour les familles qui partent en vacances par la route."— RTL France (@RTLFrance) June 7, 2023
Invité d'@amandine_begot dans #RTLMatin ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/iHvYGXxRgl
Last year’s 10% discount arrived around mid-July, with some families already going on holiday and missing out on the discounts.
With this in mind, the minister wants to see discounts implemented by the end of June this time around.
François Ruffin, an MP from the left-wing La France Insoumise party, called for toll roads to be made completely free this summer, but the transport minister dismissed the proposal.