John Black

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The article seeks to provide an answer to question about the role of the state in infrastructure planning and delivery and why have Australian state governments been keen to embrace the PPP model of procurement for roads, bridges and tunnels. A contemporary issue is the accuracy of the traffic forecasts on toll roads procured by governments with the PPP model. The “traffic forecasters” in Australia are identified and the broad order of magnitude are the accuracies of their forecasts on projected traffic for toll facilities compared with the actual opening traffic are analysed. Performance is poor (on average, traffic is over-estimated by 100 per cent) when benchmarked against international experience in road traffic forecasting. Explanations for this poor forecasting performance are offered. Finally, the conclusions synthesise the main messages about toll road traffic risks.

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