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France pushes for higher tolls

France last week announced plans for higher tunnel tolls to force freight operators to switch from road to rail following last month's horrific Mont Blanc tunnel fire.

Transport minister Jean-Claude Gayssot said that higher tolls on lorries would finance construction of new freight lines.

Gayssot added that he would also accelerate construction of the ambitious rail freight link under the Alps between Lyon and Turin.

This includes a 52km Alpine tunnel and was originally scheduled for completion in 2015. Details of plans are expected to be announced after a Franco-Italian summit in autumn next year.

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