PPP Roads: Lessons from International Experience and Comparisons with Findings from Other Sectors

PPP Roads: Lessons from International Experience and Comparisons with Findings from Other Sectors


R Bain, RBconsult Ltd, UK


Drawing on interviews with senior players in the PPP industry and new European research focussed on PPP road schemes, the author reflects on lessons learned which could be applied to future privately-financed infrastructure solutions.


Drawing on over 30 semi-structured interviews with senior players from the PPP industry (bankers, equity providers, lawyers, contracting authorities, technical consultants and financial advisors) and new European research looking at the success ? or otherwise ? of PPP road schemes and projects from other sectors, the author reflects on lessons learned to date. He contrasts his findings with those from others who have conducted similar reviews: the UK?s Treasury and National Audit Office, a leading European policy think-tank, an Australian PPP taskforce and the World Bank.

Public-private partnerships are now maturing in many European countries, with projects passing through construction and into operations. In some cases, 10-15 years of operational experience has now been accumulated. It would appear timely, therefore, to consolidate and reflect on the knowledge and expertise accrued to date in general and, specifically, at the sector level. Do PPPs work equally well in all sectors? What conditions make for a successful PPP? Where should PPPs be avoided? How could PPPs be improved? These and other related questions are addressed in this paper.

This practical paper also looks at how PPP programmes have evolved in various countries in direct response to local experience, and looks forward at the future for these types of partnering initiatives with private finance solutions at their core. It should be of interest to practitioners, planners and policy-makers at a time when infrastructure investment priorities and programmes are being reassessed across Europe in response to weak economic conditions and unprecedented public sector budget deficits.


Association for European Transport