The Privatisation and Nationalisation of European Roads

The Privatisation and Nationalisation of European Roads

Success and Failure in Public–Private Partnerships

Daniel Albalate

This distinctive and timely book examines the current state and trends in the ownership, management and financing of European high capacity roads. Offering an analysis of three pioneer countries in road privatization, Spain, France and Italy, from their origins to their recent developments, it evaluates how the design of privatisation policies may lead to their success or failure.

Chapter 11: Conclusions

Daniel Albalate

Subjects: environment, transport, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, transport


Private involvement in road infrastructure projects is a long-standing practice, but private participation has been, and remains, highly heterogeneous across Europe. A range of different management and funding models were consolidated during the twentieth century, especially after World War II, when the Continent's main motorway networks were created. This book has described a recent wave of increasing private participation in the ownership, management and financing of motorways throughout Europe, involving countries with a considerable tradition in the building of motorways as well as those which have just begun to take steps in the construction of their national networks. This growth in private involvement in the motorway industry has taken a variety of forms: first, asset transfers from the state to the private sector via the sale of publicly owned concessionaires; second, new motorway awards to the private sector to develop the network in countries with obvious infrastructure shortcomings and limited public finances; and third, a revision of financing methods (which has served to emphasise the gains that can be accrued via the implementation of tolls and the long-term private financing of motorways) that has reversed earlier models based on budgetary sources. In spite of this trend in favour of greater private participation, the ownership and management model of Europe's roads remains almost equally split between private and public provisions.

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