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Roads: Construction

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that future Design, Build, Finance and Operate contracts do not include incentives to increase traffic flows as a means of increasing revenue for the successful bidder. (267168)

[holding answer 26 March 2009]: The shadow toll payment mechanism, which involved a usage element, has not been used on Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) schemes since 1996, when the first eight Highways Agency DBFO contracts were awarded. Details of the payment mechanisms in the DBFO contracts let after 1996 can be found on the Highways Agency website at:

http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/2992.aspx

The M25 DBFO project includes incentives for lane availability, to maintain the road to an appropriate standard and to maintain and improve journey time reliability.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what threshold of penalty points above which a contract may be cancelled was set for each Design, Build, Finance and Operate contract let by his Department since 1997; how many penalty points have been accrued against each such contract to date; and how many such contracts have been terminated as a result of the threshold having been breached. (267169)

[holding answer 26 March 2009]: The Highways Agency have let three Design, Build, Finance and Operate contracts since 1997, they are the A1 Darrington to Dishforth (A1DD), A249 Stockbury to Sheerness and the A13 Thames Gateway project which has been transferred to Transport for London.

The penalty point threshold for the A1 Darrington to Dishforth and A249 Stockbury to Sheerness Design, Build, Finance and Operate contracts is 100 penalty points or more in any one year. This leads to the Highways Agency having several options, one of which is termination of the contract.

The number of penalty points accrued against each contract to date is:

Penalty points

A1DD

32

A249

69

No contracts have been terminated as the thresholds giving rise to the option to terminate have never been exceeded.