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The Privatisation and Nationalisation of European Roads

Success and Failure in Public–Private Partnerships Daniel Albalate, University of Barcelona, Spain
This distinctive and timely book examines the current state and trends in the ownership, management and financing of European high capacity roads. Offering an analysis of three pioneer countries in road privatisation, Spain, France and Italy, from their origins to their recent developments, it evaluates how the design of privatisation policies may lead to their success or failure.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $130.00 Web: $117.00
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 978 1 78195 392 1
Availability: In Stock
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  • Environment
  • Transport
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
  • Public Policy
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Transport
This distinctive and timely book examines the current state and trends in the ownership, management and financing of European high capacity roads. Offering an analysis of three pioneer countries in road privatisation, Spain, France and Italy, from their origins to their recent developments, it evaluates how the design of privatisation policies may lead to their success or failure.

Describing the trend in favouring public-private collaboration and road charging, Professor Daniel Albalate presents the theoretical framework of road privatisation and its relevant design issues. Exhaustively studying the national experiences in historical perspective, he aims at providing lessons on the good, the bad and the ugly of road privatisation. As a result, this excellent study shows the increasing role of private financing and ownership in Europe, a trend mainly explained by fiscal motivations and the thrust of the European Commission.

Presenting an evaluation of the critical elements of the contractual and regulatory design of the public-private collaboration that determines the likelihood of success and failure, this unique book will be of special interest to academics, graduate students and policy makers interested in the public provision and financing of road infrastructure, and public finance more generally.

‘This book sheds light on an important issue both in transport policy and more in general on innovative forms of state intervention. After a solid analysis of the drivers of the majority of European countries in changing radically their attitude toward this strategic sector (budget constraints and efficiency goals), it describes in detail the wide set of technical and financial tools employed to involve the private sector. And its conclusions are not less illuminating: this privatisation process, in order to be successful, requires a well constructed “case by case” strategy, and the public sector has to remain fully vigilant and aware of the risks involved in this approach.’
– Marco Ponti, Politecnico University of Milan, Italy

‘Daniel Albalate has produced the most comprehensive review of critical issues facing private participation in European motorways to date. The book’s scope is breathtaking, offering a concise history of the development of European roads, and the main reasons for the failure of many European motorway public-private partnerships while reviewing the design of road public-private partnerships. Readers will come away with a fresh understanding of interactions between public policy and private participation in road construction, financing, operation and maintenance’
– Rick Geddes, Cornell University, US

‘Daniel Albalate provides the most comprehensive and updated analysis on privatisation and nationalisation of motorways in Europe. Albalate’s thorough review of the trends in the ownership, management and financing of European motorways is a must-read for anybody interested in the factors that favor or undermine private participation in this type of infrastructure, which is a subject of increasing interest in the public policies in Europe, and throughout the world. This book provides very useful insights for scholars, and also relevant implications for policy makers.’
– Germà Bel, University of Barcelona, Spain
Contents: Preface Introduction Part I: A Favourable Trend to Privatisation 1. European Roads: Origins and Models of the Past 2. Motorway Privatisation in Europe Part II: Economics of Road Privatisation and the Design of PPPs 3. Privatisation and Regulation of Motorways: The Background 4. The Design of Public-Private Collaboration 5. Demand Risk Mitigation Mechanisms 6. When Privatisation Fails: Bailouts, Renegotiations and Nationalisations Part III: Selected Experiences in Historical Perspective 7. Spain 8. Italy 9. France Part IV: Evaluation PPPs: What We Know About Motorway Privatization 10. An Evaluation of the Private Participation in the Motorway Industry 11. Conclusions References Index