This audit focuses on the M4 handback. It looks at whether the road will be in good condition when the State gets it back, and whether it will cope with the extra traffic after the toll is removed. These are critical issues for taxpayers and motorists. Taxpayers don’t want to be responsible for a large repair bill and motorists don’t want to be stuck in traffic jams.
To ensure that future private sector partnerships (PPP) deal adequately with handback, we recommend that the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA):
- ensure deeds spell out an appropriate inspection and testing program to determine repairs required to bring roads up to a satisfactory condition at handback (p.11)
- ensure deeds link condition standards and maintenance approaches to changing industry standards and approaches over the life of the PPP (p.11)
- consider including in deeds a requirement that operators provide a performance bond or similar security over the cost of handback repairs (p.11)
- review the lessons learnt from the M4 tollway handback and determine whether it should seek to negotiate changes to existing tollway deeds to better deal with handback, by June 2010 (p.11)