Fifteen years after London, twelve years after Stockholm, and seven years after Milan, France is on the point to discover the city tolls. The government has decided to facilitate the creation of this device in urban areas, with a rate capped by the State, according to the latest version of the draft law on the orientation of mobility (LOM) to be transmitted to the Council of State, published on Wednesday, October 17, by the site information Context.

In France, the Grenelle environment round table organized in 2007 had foreseen the experimentation of urban tolls, but ” the criteria for establishment were so restrictive that no experiment could not be implemented “, says one to the ministry of transportation. In fact, the measure aimed at both reducing traffic in urban centers and reduce the environmental harm remains controversial, some believing this policy is socially discriminatory.

For the past several months, however, elected officials are clamoring for the opportunity to test this device. The project, which envisages the establishment of a “rate of congestion” by ” the organizing authority of mobility “, according to the terms of article 22 ter of the draft law. This transit authority mobility corresponds to the cities and communities of the commons, except in the capital region, where Ile-de-France Mobility depends on the regional council.

explanation :   How to operate the urban tolls, which could be implemented in France ?

maximum limits of tariff

” This is not the State which decides on the introduction of these tolls, insist-t-on in the entourage of Elizabeth Terminal, the minister of transport. It is the communities that decide if they want to put one in place. “The cities will not be able to do what they want. The authorities organising mobility shall, inter alia, ” investigate the impacts on air quality and congestion, to justify the proportionality of the measure, and study the accompanying measures necessary, seek the opinion of the municipalities concerned and the neighbouring, as well as carry out a public information campaign. “

” We are still opposed to a city toll which would discriminate against low-income households “, the entourage of Anne Hidalgo.

About the technical and pecuniary, the government proposes maximum limits rate at the entrance in the protected area by the toll. For a car, the maximum tariff is for the moment foreseen in the draft law, to 5 euro in large cities of more than 500 000 inhabitants (less than a dozen in France, according to Insee), and to € 2.50 in those of more than 100 000 inhabitants (about one hundred in France). On other vehicles, and especially trucks, this can amount to 20 euros in the most populated areas.

Some vehicles will not be subject to the toll, such as ambulances, but the organising authorities, which will receive these funds, will be able to build packages, decide for reduced rates, or even maintain it free ” to take account of the specific situation of certain users, such as residents or vulnerable workers, or the environmental performance of the mode of transport “.

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To ensure the control of the toll, no question of putting in place physical barriers. The technical solutions, via cameras reading license plates and marking systems on the ground, allow to Stockholm, London or Milan, to monitor areas subject to toll.

physical barriers

Remains to be seen whether the cities will seize this opportunity. Marseille and Lyon have not shown their interest. In Paris, Anne Hidalgo has always been reluctant, moreover, it is one of the few points of agreement with his political opponent, Valérie Pécresse, the president of the region Ile-de-France. Contacted by The World, the city of Paris is to stay on this position. “We are still opposed to a city toll, which would be limited to the device and which would discriminate against low-income households,” says one in the entourage of Anne Hidalgo.

The elected socialist said, however, open to any thoughts on another form of toll to be enlarged to the scale of the Grand Paris, and which would include “intelligent mechanisms” like they do in the netherlands (with a bonus for drivers who prefer travelling during off-peak hours) and that would provide free public transport. The ministry of transport, stalling : “This toll is positive, as distinct from the rate of congestion, raises questions about the protection of individual data, because it requires acquiring data on the mobility patterns. It is therefore necessary to continue further work. “

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In fact, “the political consensus will be long to get, it is a horizon to ten years,” warns the town hall of Paris, where it was noted that the most advanced system to fight against the pollution is the area of low emission (EPZS). The government has asked the large metropolitan areas of commitment to develop by the end of 2020, in order to exclude progressively the cars the most polluting of the major cities on the system of the thumbnails Crit’Air. In July 2019, the EPZ which is now applied at Paris should be extended to the level of the metropolis, inside the A86 motorway.