Ministers' Session

Monday 17 Afternoon 15:00-17:30

Ministers' Session

User charging: potential and limits

Venue: Grand Amphithéâtre


On the opening day of the Congress, a debate took place between ministers concerning an area in which technological progress, in particular, has completely altered all perspectives.

Ministers responsible for road policy from all continents contrasted their points of view, commitments and intentions on the theme of user charging as an instrument of transport policy, relating to the issues of the preservation of the environment, equitable development and the financing of infrastructure.

Following the opening address by the Minister of State, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning, Mr Jean-Louis Borloo, this key session was sequenced in three parts corresponding to three following specific sub-topics with, each time, a roundtable discussion following introductory speeches:

Master of Ceremonies : Dominique Rousset, Journalist, Producer at France Culture.

Opening address
Jean-Louis Borloo, Minister of State, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning, France.

Round table 1 : Road pricing as an instrument of environmental policies
Keywords of the round table: charging external costs; managing the demand (modal shift, freight redirecting); reducing urban congestion or traffic peaks; incentives for manufacturers and users to modernize automobile fleets.

Link to speeches

Round table 2 : Socioeconomic considerations in road pricing acceptance
Keywords of the round table: public opinion and charges for public goods; involving populations and economic players in managing networks; impact on transport fares; purchasing power and discrimination; social sensitivity and poverty alleviation goals; access to basic services; fostering equal land development through road pricing policy; equal access to infrastructure; charges and service levels; charges for urban and suburban connections.

Link to speeches

Round table 3 : The implications of extended or generalized road pricing
Keywords of the round table: experiments of extending tolls to an entire national network; experiments of generalizing tolls to include all categories of vehicles; optimizing the use of a network; preventing traffic from moving towards secondary roadways (toll avoidance suppression and road safety challenges); assets management and long life cycle costs; lasting resources for transport network maintenance and development; solutions for collecting charges.

Link to speeches

Summary and conclusions
Mário Lino Soares Correia, Minister for Public Works, Transport and Communication, Portugal and President in office of the Council of Transport of the European Union.