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Roads

Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total construction cost was of each Design, Build, Finance and Operate road; what the expected total cost of each contract is to public funds; and by what year all such costs are expected to have been paid in each case. (104403)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total construction cost was of each Design, Build, Finance and Operate road; what the expected total cost of each contract is to public funds; and by what year all such costs are expected to have been paid in each case. (102405)

The construction cost of a Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) contract is the responsibility of the DBFO company. This is an important part of the risk transfer in this type of project, which gives the Department cost certainty in relation to construction costs. However, the Department and the Highways Agency monitor trends in road construction costs and take account of them in planning the forward programme.

Unlike conventional road improvement contracts, the costs associated with DBFO contracts are not just for the construction work but also cover the maintenance and management of the associated road network over a typical period of thirty years. The actual cost of construction is a matter for each DBFO Company.

The following table gives the expected total cost of Unitary Charges for each contract and the year in which the payments end. These payments cover the cost of constructing the road improvements and also maintaining the road network covered by the contract over the contract period.

Project

Expected total cost (£ million)

Year payments end

A1 Darrington to Dishforth

1,161.072

2036

A1 (M) Alconbury to Peterborough

1,122.93

2026

A19 Dishforth to Tyne Tunnel

827.91

2027

A249 Stockbury (M2) to Sheerness

331.313

2034

A30/A35 Exeter to Bere Regis

569.28

2026

A417/A419Swindonto Gloucester

612.65

2026

A50 Stoke to Derby

234.54

2026

A69 Carlisle to Newcastle

295.47

2026

M1-A1 Lofthouse to Bramham

1,271.83

2026

M40 Denham to Warwick

1,128.36

2027

The Secretary of State has asked Mike Nichols, Chairman of the Nichols Group, to review the Highways Agency approach to cost estimating and project management, and to make recommendations, including on how the agency should best assess, monitor and report on risks to its costs estimates. He will report shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what lower cost alternatives to the Heysham M6 link (Northern route) Lancashire County Council has put forward to his Department. (104683)

Lancashire County Council’s Major Scheme Business Case for the Heysham to M6 Link, submitted in July 2005, included details of the Western Route as the Next Best Option and online improvements to the existing highway network as the Lower Cost Option. Department for Transport officials have requested additional information from the Council clarifying the work carried out on alternative options.