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What's the verdict on the A79, one year after France's first free-flow freeway went into service?

On the A79 freeway, between the towns of Digoin and Montmarault, motorists have no longer stopped at the toll booth to pay for their journey since November 4, 2023.

How does free-flow tolling work?

Free-flow tolling, also known as barrier-free tolling, was introduced for the first time in France, on the A79 freeway at the end of 2022. But how does it differ from traditional toll collection?  Gone are the barriers, the queues and the slowdowns - free-flow tolls are reinventing the freeway! Gantries equipped with infra-red cameras and sensors identify vehicles by reading their license plate or electronic toll tag. This enables vehicles to circulate without having to stop, improving traffic flow and eliminating waiting times at the toll plaza.

How to pay the free-flow toll?

Drivers have three days to pay the free-flow toll, and several payment options are available.

  • Electronic toll subscription

To avoid unpleasant surprises if payment is not made within three days, the best option is to opt for an electronic toll tag. With an electronic toll tag, you can take full advantage of the benefits of free flow (traffic flow, time savings, lower risk of accidents, reduced environmental impact).

The electronic toll tag is THE solution for paying freeway tolls, and all the more so in free-flow traffic! You don' t have to worry about it, and there's no commitment, so you can return it whenever you like.

Not yet equipped? Take advantage of the electronic toll tag and 12 months of free management fees by clicking here.

  • Plate registration

Customers enter their license plate number in advance of their journey, and link it to their bank details. The plate number is detected on every journey on the A79, and customers are invoiced every week for the journeys they have made.

  • Online payment

After a journey on the A79, customers visit the ALIAE website and have three days to pay for their journey. They enter their license plate, which enables them to find out which journeys they have made.

  • Pay stations at service areas

Pay stations are available all along the A79, enabling you to pay for your journey by credit card or in cash within three days of your journey. Find out where the pay stations are.

One year on? What are the results of the free-flow freeway?

The results are very positive, with almost 8 million journeys made on the A79. Nearly 15,000 vehicles use the A79 every day, compared with 7,000 previously. Of these, 70% are cars and 30% trucks.

How were customers supported?

For a year, we had to accompany customers who were using a free-flow freeway for the first time. Numerous signs were posted along the freeway. Over 600,000 letters were sent to first-time customers.

Advertising campaigns were also run by ALIAE, and a toll-free helpline was opened Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.: 0 806 005 005.

How did customers pay for their journey on the A79?

The figures speak volumes about the indispensability of the electronic toll tag. Nearly two-thirds of customers who travelled on the A79 paid using their electronic toll tag. What's more, 30% paid on the website or via the plate subscription, while only 5% paid at the kiosks on the A79 service areas.

Does free-flow really have an impact on safety and the environment?

Here too, the A79 is a winner. Despite traffic doubling, there have been no fatal accidents on this road formerly known as "the road of death". Free-flow also means ecological benefits: no traffic jams at toll booths, and no stops. Today, it is estimated that nearly 12,000 tonnes of CO2 are saved. When a truck stops at a traditional toll plaza, it consumes an average of one liter of fuel, equivalent to 3.1 kg of CO2 emissions.

What does the future hold for free-flow?

The free-flow tolling system, already in place in other countries such as Spain, Portugal and even Canada, is set to expand in France...This tolling system is set to expand to other freeways in France, as the government is making it mandatory for all new freeways.

In 2024, the A13 and A14 freeways (Paris-Normandie) will be equipped with the free-flow toll system.

The A412, designed to open up the Chablais region on the south shore of Lake Geneva, will also be equipped with free-flow tolls. This new freeway will serve the area south of Thonon-les-Bains, from the Annemasse-Geneva conurbation.



The special A79 electronic toll tag

Take advantage of discounts of up to 60% on the free-flow freeway