Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Highways England responds to PFI axe

Highways England has responded to the chancellor’s abolition of PFI and PF2 by insisting that “financing is not a determining factor” for two flagship schemes previously earmarked for private finance.

In Monday’s Budget Philip Hammond said no further schemes would be funded through PFI or PF2.

The chancellor said the funding mechanism was neither delivering value for money nor sufficiently transferring risk to the private sector.

Highways England, which was handed a £30bn budget for 2020-25 as part of the Budget, had identified two of its major projects for PF2 funding: the £1.6bn A303 Stonehenge tunnel and the £6bn Lower Thames Crossing scheme.

In response to the chancellor’s statement, a Highways England spokesperson said the Treasury had “made it very clear they are still committed to these schemes and that their financing is not a determining factor in deciding whether they get delivered”.

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan told CN in April he believed “PF2 has been well thought out and well argued”.

The roads boss argued that “there are about £400m successful PFIs in operation; PF2 is an improvement on PFI and seems to work well on roads”.

Highways England said it was continuing to engage with the industry regarding opportunities on both projects, despite the chancellor’s decision to axe PFI and PF2.

The spokesperson said: “We remain committed to talking to all those in the UK, European and international markets who are interested in helping us deliver them.

“These are flagship projects and remain large and complex, so we need the very best our supply chain can offer.”

They added that Highways England “was are working closely with government to progress them”.

Readers' comments (1)

  • More govt. money needs to be channelled into these projects to encourage UK contractors to build UK projects

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.