This new feature on the highways will soon allow the French to save time to reach Normandy.

The sunny days are coming and with them the desire for a long weekend. For many French people, particularly Parisians, Normandy is the ideal destination to go and relax for a few days by the sea and thus get a first taste of summer vacation. However, as soon as the temperatures become spring-like, the road leading to Deauville, a chic destination that is always very popular, resembles a funnel. The travel time needed to cover the approximately 200 kilometers that separate the capital from the Côte Fleurie can easily increase from two to three hours, or even more. Enough to postpone your desire to go and relax for a few hours at the beach…

However, something new on the road could change everything. To reach Normandy from western Paris, motorists must take the A14 then A13 motorways. The SANEF (Société des autoroutes du Nord et de l’Est de la France), concessionaire of the A13 and A14, has for some time now undertaken a vast project to help streamline traffic along the 210 kilometers between Paris and Caen. The plan is to remove the existing five large toll plazas as well as the nine smaller ones located on motorway interchanges. Does this mean these highways will soon be free? You shouldn’t dream. You will still have to pay, up to 17.60 euros to connect Paris and Caen in a vehicle less than two meters high, but the way you pay your bill will be different.

The A13 and A14 motorways, which also serve Rouen and Le Havre, will soon become free-flowing. Toll barriers will disappear to make way for gantries equipped with cameras which will overlook the highway. These will be programmed to read the number plates or electronic toll badges at each pass, but also to measure the size of the vehicles because the rates differ depending on their size. Two gantries will be put into service from June, the other twelve towards the end of 2024.

This new system should make it possible to eliminate slowdowns at toll gates, which quickly form traffic jams when traffic is heavy. Questioned by the site, the construction director for the Sanef network estimates that this could save 30 minutes on a Paris-Caen journey during a busy weekend. That’s half an hour less spent in your car, or if you prefer, extra time to enjoy the sweetness of Normandy’s beaches.

If motorists will soon no longer have to take out their credit cards on the A13 and A14 motorways, they should not forget to pay. If nothing will change for electronic toll subscribers, since their badge will be read by the cameras fixed on the gantries, other drivers will have 72 hours to connect online to the site or go to a tobacconist. After this period, the concessionaire of these two highways will send a letter to the address attached to the vehicle’s registration plate. This will stipulate to pay the toll costs plus 10 euros within 15 days. This increase will increase to 90 euros once the 15 days have passed. And if the user continues to play dead, after 63 days the fine will be 375 euros! Enough to really add to the bill for a short weekend in Deauville.