France’s first barrierless motorway toll (péage) opened on the A79 in Allier on November 4, with the intention of speeding up journey times for drivers and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The ‘flux-libre’ (freeflow) road was formerly the N79. It is an 88km section of road between Montmarault (Allier) et Digoin (Saône-et-Loire). The state requested that the road be changed into a paying motorway in a bid to improve safety.
Les 30 1ers km du nouvel itinéraire A79+, sera complète en octobre 2022 et sera la première autoroute en flux libre, sans barrière de péage en France (c'est-à-dire sans barrière de péage physique -https://t.co/MT05bda2Ui pic.twitter.com/q2AY4QINkU— UNSA TRANSPORT ET LOGISTIQUE UTL (@UNSAUTL) July 4, 2022
It is hoped that the lack of toll booths will prevent vehicles from having to slow down or stop, thus saving on fuel and exhaust emissions.
However, the absence of a physical pay machine may lead some to forget that the road is still a péage. We look at what you risk if you fail to pay.
Inauguration de l'#A79 à Toulon/Allier par @CBeaune. Visite de la nouvelle aire de services du #Bourbonnais.— Préfète de l'Allier (@Prefet03) November 14, 2022
✅Échanges avec des employés en contrat d'insertion
✅Découverte des produits régionaux de l'#Allier
✅Présentation des bornes de paiement pour le péage à flux libre pic.twitter.com/aw0Uxm8wMl
How do I pay?
When you drive underneath the gantries on the libre-flux motorway, cameras will read and record your number plate or detect the télépéage subscription fob fitted to the car.
If you have a subscription, you can therefore use the road without needing to do anything, as the toll cost will be applied to your account.
However, if you are only an occasional user, you must pay using the Aliae website or via the app.
You can either register your vehicle and payment details on the website, or can pay as you go and enter your details manually each time.
There will also be 16 payment booths at the border of the motorway, which will enable people to pay by card or with coins if they prefer.
If paying online, you must do so in the 72 hours after you use the péage. It is also possible to do so in advance, up to a week before your journey.
L'autoroute... sans péage— RMC (@RMCInfo) November 4, 2022
️ L'A79 entre Digoin (Saône-et-Loire) et Montmarault (Allier) devient la première autoroute payante de France en "flux libre"
► On a testé pour vous #ApollineMatin pic.twitter.com/x226K3exKl
What happens if I pay late or not at all?
If you fail to pay the toll, you will face fines increasing depending on the time scale.
- For a payment that is three to 15 days late you will have to pay the toll and a reduced fine of €10
- After 15 days, you will have to pay the toll and a €90 fine
- After 60 days, the case will be transferred to the Officier du ministère public (OMP) and the fine will be increased to €375.
If you fail to pay five tolls within a year and let each case go to the OMP, you risk a fine of up to €7,500.
Drivers should note that if they receive a penalty notice for an unpaid toll even though they have not used the road in question, it is probably a scam.
Fraudsters may either use duplicate number plates to pass charges onto the real owner, or send fake notifications from the authorities demanding payment of a fine.
Un portique autoroutier, la première pierre posée ce jour du péage Flux Libre sur les 88 km de la future #A79. @GroupeAPRR @eiffage . Le projet lancé depuis 2 ans devient plus tangible pour tous. #AutorouteBasCarbone— Stéphane Dunaigre (@ergianud) September 1, 2021
+ d'info ➡️ https://t.co/pP6l7zYzRw pic.twitter.com/WXA5gFLY0Q
An EU-data sharing agreement will enable French authorities to chase up drivers from other countries in the block who fail to pay the toll. The UK is no longer part of this agreement due to Brexit, but drivers with British number plates would still be expected to pay the toll charge as normal.