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Motorways: the regulator wants shorter concession contracts


“Shorter contracts, lasting around 20 years, would be desirable”, compared to around 70 years for historic concessions, the authority suggests.

The Transport Regulatory Authority (ART) suggests that the State favor shorter contracts in the event that it chooses to keep the motorway concession model, in order to give it greater room for manoeuvre, in a report released Thursday.

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The contracts should be shorter in order to allow more regular reopening of competition, even if it means introducing innovative financing methods

", writes the ART in its report, while the main concessions - in particular to Vinci, Eiffage and Sanef - -, covering more than 90% of the motorways under concession, will come to an end between 2031 and 2036.

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ART supports the concession system, deeming

the logic of charging users to be “

virtuous ”.

It “

secures the financing necessary for the maintenance of the infrastructure and the maintenance of a high level of quality of service

”, while ensuring a framework for expenditure, according to her.

Nevertheless, in its current version, this model also has weaknesses

,” points out the Authority.


It is indeed characterized by long contracts, due to significant initial investments, but also multiple extensions, which confers an essential position on the actors in place and generates negotiations that are often unbalanced for the benefit of the concessionaires

", she writes. .


Shorter contracts, lasting around 20 years, would be desirable

”, compared to around 70 years for historical concessions, she suggests.

These contracts could be shorter "

in the case of a concession requiring little or no work

", or longer in the opposite case.

And in this case, the ART recommends to “

supervise their renegotiation more strictly

”, today “

operated outside any competitive discipline

”, with in particular regular revisions of certain parameters.


If substantial investments were necessary, a reflection on the appropriate financing methods should be initiated

", she adds.

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The regulator calls all the more for caution as the motorways will have "

significant investment needs for mitigation and adaptation to climate change


But “

the question of the nature and volume of these investments remains open

,” he concedes.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-26

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