Vinci plans to increase French motorway tolls by 5% if a tax on motorway concessions - planned in the 2024 draft budget - is implemented. The group threatens to take legal action to win its case.
Vinci instead suggests that the State co-finance a highway decarbonization plan. Raising taxes on motorways is a “misconception” said Pierre Coppey, deputy general manager of Vinci and president of Vinci autoroutes, on Monday during a presentation to the press. “It is inevitably less investment at a time when there is a need to do a lot and it is also inevitably an increase in prices which we estimate today of around 5% taking into account a tax of 4.6% on motorway turnover,” he declared during the Vinci Autoroutes Media Days. “It is therefore a bad idea that we contest and that we will contest by all means if the government does not give up on it or if Parliament persists in voting for this project,” he warned. “This will come down to administrative justice, constitutional justice and, where appropriate, European justice, but perhaps we will find a solution first,” he continued. According to him, it “would be preferable to mobilize all mobility stakeholders in a decarbonization project” of highways. “They are ready for it, that is the appeal that I am making.”
Also read: Anne de Guigné: “Budget, the gas plant of the tax on motorways”
The tax on “long-distance transport infrastructures” decided by Bercy in the name of the ecological transition is supposed to bring in 600 million euros per year from 2024, of which three quarters of the revenue would come from the road sector and a quarter from the air, according to the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire. In terms of decarbonization of highways, Pierre Coppey pointed out numerous needs: multiplication of electric charging points, development of shared modes of transport (carpooling and development of buses) and production of renewable energies along the roads. Electric charging stations, numbering 3,000 today on the concessioned motorway network (of which Vinci represents 51%), will have to increase to “25,000” for the entire network by 2035, he argued. That’s an investment of 5 billion euros. He also estimated the need at 12,000 charging stations for trucks. Finally, he reported that “nearly 200 photovoltaic parks should see the light of day” along the highways, which would represent 1 gigawatt of power, “the equivalent of a nuclear reactor”.