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Edited by Graeme A. Hodge, Carsten Greve and Anthony E. Boardman
Chapter 24: A Review of Transport Public–Private Partnerships in the UK
24 A review of transport public–private partnerships in the UK Jean Shaoul Introduction This chapter has two interrelated objectives: first, to review the experience of transport PPPs, including roads, bridges, rail and air traffic control, in the UK; and second, to present the financial evidence about the actual costs of different types of transport PPPs. Such a review and analysis would inform the international policy debate about the use of private finance and its broader implications for accountability. This is particularly important given the absence of ex post facto financial evaluation of the policy or scrutiny of the cost of current, renegotiated or terminated projects by the official watchdogs (Pollock and Price, 2008). The focus is on transport because, while PPPs now encompass most sectors and services and all types of public bodies, national, local and nondepartmental, the transport sector is by far the largest internationally. The UK, as one of the foremost exponents of the policy, illustrates the varied forms and outcomes of transport PPPs in developed countries. Since the engineering standards for transport projects are by and large universal at least in developed countries, unlike public services such as health and education, where the requirements are more likely to be tailored to local social and institutional needs and constraints, any assessment of the experience is likely to have more general applicability. Transport projects in the UK have typically taken one of a number of forms. First, a contractual-type arrangement: the public sector pays for the use of...
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