Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Highways Agency: PFI off the agenda for now

The Highways Agency has ruled out any further use of private finance to fund its capital works or maintenance programme.

Controversial scheme

The Highways Agency’s most recent use of PFI was for Connect Plus’ controversial £6.2bn, 30 year contract to upgrade and maintain the M25.

Earlier this year the Commons Public Accounts Committee said the approach will cost the taxpayer £1bn too much (NCE 11 February).

Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton said Connect Plus has had to “think hard” to see how it can do the work for the price agreed, adding that its bid came in “a lot lower” than estimated.

But he said that the Agency’s forward programme dominated by managed motorway schemes did not lend itself to PFI.

“The principles of PFI work well with an initial programme of capital expenditure and then a period of long term maintenance.

“We are in a position of having no backlog of maintenance demanding that capital spend,” he said.

Readers' comments (1)

  • John Mather

    Members may be interested to see the House of Commons Treasury Committee Report on the Private Finance Initiative published in July. It would appear that there are many areas for improvement associated with the PFI not least those associated with preparation costs, risk transfer and the (currently) high cost of private finance. Given the governments understandable reluctance to increase public sector debt, the financing of infrastructure in the short to medium term is likely to be challenging to say the least.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.