Toulouse. Will the most expensive toll in France disappear? Here is the state’s final response
Through David Saint-Sernin
In February 2023, the “small” TOLL of the Union, near Toulousegoing to be one of the tolls of not knowing a increase in its prices. However, there will remain the toll the most expensive in France : 50 cents to drive for a few kilometers on a motorway… including a part where the speed is limited to 90 km/h.
In the crosshairs of 14 mayors
For several years, this “small” toll was in the crosshairs of 14 mayors who asked for its removal, to help relieve the road interchange of the Roseraie, completely saturated, and to open up the commercial area of Balma-Gramont, where there is a large hypermarket, but also many companies including the Latécoère factory and the new Orange campus.
Its studied removal
Under discussion for several years, this abolition of the toll was the subject of reflection, multimodal studies created in 2017, to improve traffic flow in greater Toulouse. The deletion project is one of the projects “to be studied and achievable by 2030”
Here is what the roadmap said:
“This is to follow up on the request of elected officials to remove the small toll from L’Union. It is the State that will be responsible for conducting studies, determining the price that the abolition of the small toll would cost and what amount the communities would have to pay to bring this project to fruition. See, to advance the proposal to set up preferential subscriptions targeted at local users, involving the local authorities concerned and ASF. In this context, discussions will be expected with the private manager, ASF”.
The State’s Definitive Response
Six years later, on Wednesday January 25, 2023, the State has now decided on the future of the “small” toll in its synthesis of multimodal studies entitled “Anticipating tomorrow’s travel together 2030-2040”.
Here is his final answer:
The study of an improvement in traffic in the toll area of L’Union has shown that both partial free access (residents, carpoolers) and the abolition of the toll do not have a positive effect on reducing clutter. Given the significant financial amounts, the scenario of abolishing the Union toll was abandoned and the search for alternative intermodal solutions was initiated.
It’s official, the most expensive toll in France so it won’t go away.
If the decision had not been communicated later by the prefecture of Haute-Garonne, from 2019, the abolition of the toll and the establishment of a preferential rate for subscribers already no longer featured in the plan for “the mobility of tomorrow”that is to say the plan which determined the projects to be carried out to prevent the agglomeration from being totally asphyxiated.
A detailed study at the deletion
Without being communicated, the decision was already made three years ago.
In early 2019, a study with negative conclusions was also published
At the time, the Regional Department for the Environment, Planning and Housing (DREAL) was evaluating the consequences of abolishing this toll, of the introduction of free tolls for users of the 14 municipalities concerned, or free for carpoolers. For each scenario, the DREAL assessed the development of traffic at peak and off-peak times and travel times on certain routes.
The purchase of the small toll considered too expensive
On February 22, 2019, Jean-Luc Lagleize, LREM deputy for the constituency, who had asked the question of the abolition of the toll during the session of questions to the government, reported on his website the conclusions of this investigation:
The DREAL study which was presented to us on Friday February 22, 2019, indicated a drop in traffic on the RD 888 and 112 without any real gain in travel time but also congestion on the A68 and on the surrounding roundabouts, and an increase in traffic and noise in the municipalities of L’Union and Saint-Jean. In the other two scenarios, the impacts, although attenuated compared to scenario 1, would also be negative. If we add the cost resulting from this study of the purchase of the small toll, (ie 39 million euros), the conclusions of this report are not in favor of the abolition of this urban toll.
There is no consensus on the cost of buying back the toll
A redemption cost, estimated at 39 million euros, that the mayor of the Union, Marc Péréwas still contesting at the time, he and the 13 other mayors valued him for their part at 12 million euros.
Contacted by Toulouse news, Thursday January 26, Marc Péré does not admit to being surprised by this decision:
“There were no more discussions in recent months. The last study disclosed on the consequences of removing the toll sounded the glass of any national desire to remove the small toll. Or, this type of problem can only be solved by a national political will, which there was not in this file”.
As a reminder, the Union’s small toll concession will come to an end in 2036.
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