Analysis of the Effects Derived from the Application of "Participation Loans" to New Road Concessions in Spain
VASSALLO J M and IZQUIERDO R, Universidad Politdcnica de Madrid, Spain
It is generally admitted that Spain was a pioneer country in the application of the system based on concessions to the construction of new motorways. Despite the various setbacks that arose from the application of this new system, put in perspective, the
It is generally admitted that Spain was a pioneer country in the application of the system based on concessions to the construction of new motorways. Despite the various setbacks that arose from the application of this new system, put in perspective, the overall results stemming from its development can reasonably be regarded as positive, chiefly, in so much as the system provided the country with a modern motorway network. Moreover, to complete the construction of a network tapping exclusively on Public Budgets would have been clearly non-viable.
The advent of the Socialist Government had a substantial impact on infrastructure policies. The concession-based system, which had been introduced before, was fully replaced by the so-celled "Autovias Programme" developed with a view to meeting the urgent need to set up a high capacity network. "The Autovias Programme" was aimed at splitting conventional roads that were thus turned into double-track fast lanes having geometric standards well below those in turnpikes.
Coinciding with the establishment of a more conservative government, the last four years have been characterised by a collective drive intended to incorporate Spain into the European project for a single currency, which has involved a great effort towards the achievement of budgetary convergence criteria. In turn, this effort, primarily based on the need to curb the public deficit, has been distinguished by the cut-down on public investment -which might as well have endangered the growth rate expected in the construction sector- and also by the upgrade in the road network. In view of the facts above detailed, the Popular Party decided to re-introduce -at least partially- the concession-based system so as to invite the participation of the private sector in the funding of new motorways, and, thus, prevent a drop in the investment rate for a certain number of years.
Association for European Transport