France has postponed its decision on toll charging for commercial goods transport until after the elections for the European Parliament by the end of May.
French Minister for the Environment Ségolène Royal, also responsible for traffic and transport, wishes to be released from ‘écotaxe poids-lourds’, the intended, repeatedly postponed kilometre charge on goods transports on state and departmental roads.
In her view there are two options: either a charge (‘vignette’) payable on crossing the border, intended for foreign trucks entering France, or an additional charge for transit movements on existing, privatised toll roads.
In anticipation, the minister will await the coming of a report on this toll charge, expected to be issued by a French parliamentary committee halfway May. The eventual choice made by Royal will not be announced until June.
Meanwhile Royal is searching for the roughly 800 million euros expected to be generated by écotaxe each year. In her view, private toll operators could contribute towards increasing the state revenues. Together, they could collect annual revenues in the amount of 8.5 billion euros, leaving them a profit of two billion euros each year.
This were also possible because a previous government would have granted these toll operators very generous toll charging concessions, on corresponding terms and conditions.
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