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M25 Private Finance Contract

HC 651, Nineteenth Report of Session 2010-11 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
TSO (The Stationery Office)

In May 2009 the Highways Agency signed a 30 year private finance contract for widening two sections of the M25 motorway, including the Dartford Crossing, and maintaining the entire 125 mile length of the road, and 125 miles of connecting roads and motorways.

The Committee of Public Accounts carried out a full review of the private finance contract in the report, 'M25 Private Finance Contract (HC 651)'.

The Committee makes eight points in conclusion of its review:

1. they do not agree that the PFI contract represents value for money;

2. the 80 million spent on consultants over six years for this project was excessive;

3. the Agency lacks the capacity to assess whether its advisers are providing value for money;

4. the Agency significantly over-estimated the market rate for operation and maintenance;

5. the invitation to tender was too narrowly drawn as it excluded hard should running as a solution for traffic congestion;

6. the Agency persisted with its preferred solution of widening the M25 because of the time taken to trial hard shoulder running;

7. the Agency appeared to be committed to a single procurement route and justified a widening deal through a flawed and biased cost estimation; and

8. evidence could not be taken from the Senior Responsible Owner of the project as he had left the Agency and was employed by one of the project's major contractors and investors.

Ultimately, the Committee believes that the project was mishandled at a potential extra cost to the taxpayer of around 1 billion.

Extent 39 pages ISBN 9780215556332
Size A4 Price £11.00
Format Paperback Published 08 Feb 2011
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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