Hyder group clinches largest road scheme

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The Independent Online
The Government has awarded its biggest-ever private sector road contract, worth pounds 190m, to UK Highways, a consortium including Hyder, John Laing and Tarmac.

The deal will provide a shot in the arm to the Private Finance Initiative, which has so far failed to live up to government hopes. Tarmac says initial construction work will cost about pounds 75m, while total project financing of pounds 100m has been raised by way of equity. Midland Bank has provided a loan facility of pounds 90m.

Under the contract, UK Highways will improve, operate and maintain 122 kilometres of the M40 motorway between Junction 1, in London, and Junction 15, near Warwick.

The work will take around 30 months, says Tarmac.

UK Highways shareholders include Hyder with 40 per cent, John Laing and Tarmac with 20 per cent each, Caisse des Depots et Consignations with 16 per cent and Transroute International with 4 per cent. Tarmac said the consortium would receive payment from the Government in the form of traffic-related "shadow" tolls, over a period of 30 years.

Tarmac Laing Joint Venture, a construction partnership, has been awarded the contract by UK Highways for the design, construction and commissioning of the M40 upgrade and initial maintenance work, with Hyder Consulting acting as infrastructure designers.