A demanding, cost-effective system

They set out the commitments of the State and those of the concession operators. Since their privatisation in 2006 the concession operators have been private companies The motorway network itself remains the property of the State, concessions being granted to the operators for set periods.

APRR undertakes to comply with the terms of the agreements defined by the State. In return, APRR receives the revenue from toll payments. These serve to finance work to maintain and modernise the network, as well as reimbursing the debt that was transferred when the motorways were privatised in 2006.

When the concession agreements expire (in 2035 for APRR and 2036 for AREA), the concession operators will return the motorway networks thus developed, improved and debt-free to the State, receiving nothing further in exchange.

The concession model has allowed France to have a quality network covering the whole country at a substantial saving for the State, as the network is financed by users rather than taxpayers.

Guaranteed revenue and supervision for the French State

With the privatisation of the motorways, the State transferred €40 billion in public commitments (debt and investment programmes) to the private motorway companies. Since then, in the context of their activity, these companies have paid the State €4 billion in taxes each year, and are committed to repaying the €17 billion in debt transferred at the time of privatisation.

The obligations of the motorway operators are set out in the concession agreements. The State also decides on investments complementary to the initial concession agreements, through multi-year plan contracts or specific investment plans. Under this framework, APRR invested €4.2 billion from 2006 to 2021, and has committed to devote more than €200 million a year on average to the network in the next few years.

In recent years, the motorway regeneration plan signed in 2015 and the plan signed at the end of 2018 represented more than €900 million of investments for APRR and AREA, on top of the approximately €150 million average spent annually on major maintenance of the networks (road surfaces, works of art, environment, etc.)

APRR performs its roles under the constant supervision of the public authorities, which oversee compliance with performance and quality indicators relating to its services and infrastructures.

Fair prices for users

In France, the motorway network is funded by tolls, not taxation. Over the life of the concession, toll revenues serve to repay the loans granted for the construction of the infrastructures, to finance maintenance works and to fund investment in the network.

It is the network’s users, of all nationalities, that fund the network, not taxpayers as a whole. Thanks to the “user pays” principle, a large part of the network’s external costs (environmental protection, noise abatement and safety improvements, etc.) is paid by the people who actually use it.

The State determines the rules for toll increases based on the additional capital expenditure and works requested of the concession operators. It checks and validates the tariffs applied for each toll section every year.

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