Key PPP PrinciplesIn launching the national roads PPP Programme in June 2000 the Authority established certain key principles:
- No delay should occur in the scheduled provision of road projects as a consequence of their inclusion in the PPP programme.
- An alternative toll-free route must be available for road users. While the Authority proposes to develop toll charges that are at an affordable level in order to attract traffic on to the new toll roads, certain users may wish to forego the improved service and shorter journey time such roads will offer and remain on existing roads.
- Toll roads should be spread across the main national routes in order to create an equitable distribution of user-charging on the newly constructed network and of the benefits of accelerated delivery of the road projects concerned and the improvements they will bring as regards the level of service and safety.
- A road project needs to be of sufficient size in order to produce value for money when using the PPP process. Whilst no definitive minimum value has been set, a guide of €64m has been used. In fact, most planned projects are of much greater value than this, reflecting the Authority's current strategy of developing larger schemes than had been possible with the more limited funding previously available.
- While the aim is to secure complete project funding from the private sector for the tolled roads, a pragmatic approach will be adopted. Where necessary, a public subsidy will be considered for high cost schemes, which cannot be financed solely from tolls. This approach is in conformity with many toll concession agreements throughout the world and will ensure that toll charges, as fixed by the Authority, are at an affordable level.