A demanding, cost-effective system

The motorway concession model, whereby the French State contracts public or private-sector partners to manage the network, originated in legislation passed on 18 April 1955. This partnership is based on multi-year planning contracts that set out the respective commitments of the State and the concession operators. The concession operators have been private companies since the State sold its shares in 2006. 

APRR upholds the terms of the agreements defined by the French State. In return, APRR receives revenue by collecting the corresponding toll payments. These payments enable the company to fund work to maintain and modernise the network, as well as reimbursing the €17 billion debt 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.
Through this concession model, France has implemented a high quality nationwide network at a substantial saving for the State, as the network is funded by users rather than taxpayers.    

Guaranteed revenue and supervision for the French State

Privatising the French motorways transferred €40 billion in public commitments (debt and investment programmes) to private motorway companies. Since then, these companies pay the State €4 billion in taxes from their activities 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 requests new investment supplementing the original concession agreements, through multi-year planning contracts. Under this framework, APRR invested €2,400 million over the period from 2006 to 2011, and has committed to spend €500 million on the network between 2014 and 2018, plus a further €719 million by 2021 under the terms of the motorway regeneration plan agreed in 2015.
APRR performs its missions under constant supervision from the public authorities, which uphold compliance with performance and quality indicators relating to the company's 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 repay the loans contracted in order to build infrastructures, finance maintenance works and enable new investment in the network.

It is the network’s users, of all nationalities, who fund the network rather than taxpayers as a whole. Thanks to this “user pays” principle, much of the network’s external costs (relating to environmental protection, noise abatement and safety improvements, for example), are funded by its own users.

The government determines toll increase guidelines that reflect the capital expenditure and additional works requested of the concession operators. It reviews and approves the prices applied for each journey on an annual basis.




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