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Journey time trigger for A13 payment

SHADOW TOLLS will only form a small part of payments to the DBFO consortium that takes on the £143M privately financed A13 road improvement in east London according to Highways Agency proposals published last week.

Instead, most of the payment will depend on the chosen consortium's ability to keep the road available for use and free of breakdowns, roadworks and accidents.

The new proposals for the 36km stretch of A13 were spelt out in documents seeking pre-qualification bids, released last Friday. 'Under the proposed payment mechanism for the project,' it says, 'shadow tolls will comprise a much smaller proportion of the DBFO Co's revenues than under previous arrangements.'

This clarifies Highways Agency chief executive Lawrie Haynes' plan to move away from paying shadow tolls on busy urban roads. As traffic volumes on these routes are relatively easy to predict, consortia would face a much lower revenue risk than those on rural schemes (NCE 13 February 1997).

The Agency also plans to restrict shadow toll payments to lorries and buses in an attempt to encourage the DBFO consortium to persuade motorists to switch from cars for public transport.

The document also confirms that an element of the payment to the DBFO consortium will depend on an ability to guarantee agreed journey times. This would effectively penalise the consortium if the road becomes congested by high traffic volumes.

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