THE HIGHWAYS Agency has confirmed that it may let privately financed maintenance contracts for up to 30 years.
Private finance is one of four options set out in a consultation paper which has been sent out to contractors before new maintenance contracts are announced in March.
Under plans revealed by the Agency in its document Paving the way, privately financed managing agent contractors would operate 15/30 year contracts, paid back by shadow tolls or similar payment mechanisms.
The options are:
Maintaining the two tier system of term maintenance contractor (TMC) overseen by a managing agent which was set up in 1996.
Letting a single contract but keeping the distinct roles of network contractor and network adviser. The network contractor would deliver all works without supervision while the network adviser would concentrate on strategic planning, design and whole life costing.
Combining the roles of managing agent and TMC into a managing agent contractor. Setting up a network board with the Highways Agency for strategic steer.
Letting a private finance contract over 15/30 years.