Mobility and Infrastructure

Future of Mobility and Infrastructure | AI use cases, UK PFI project handbacks, and what a Labour government might mean for the sector

Published on 10th Jul 2024

Welcome to our latest mobility and infrastructure update that addresses key trends and issues within the sector affecting your business

City street lit up at night

What are the legal considerations for defence to civilian AI use cases in the UK and European mobility and infrastructure sectors? 

The early use of AI in the defence industry is likely to read across into civilian mobility and infrastructure use cases. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is disrupting many areas of daily life and business. The mobility and infrastructure sectors are no exception. Substantial benefits are open to these sectors through the targeted deployment of AI. These include efficiency gains in construction and operation, enhancement of safety critical functions, and predictive maintenance that reduces cost, reduces gaps in availability and further improves safety. But, alongside the benefits, the implementation of AI brings novel legal considerations and potential risks which will require careful navigation. 

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How should businesses prepare for UK private finance initiative project handbacks? 

A growing number of UK PPP/PFI contracts (for the provision of public buildings, infrastructure and other assets) are coming to an end. 

Current government guidance (with industry-approved updates likely to be issued soon) is that the parties should start preparing at least seven years before the expiry date – in itself an indication that there is a lot for the parties to do before the contract ends. As ever, there are nuances between delivery structures (vanilla PFI and NHS LIFT), sectors and the project vintage (when it was signed and the standard form or version of guidance that applied). 

Given the cliff-edge nature of the fixed expiry date, the public sector needs to plan for "what comes next". What services need to be delivered and by whom (and whether a procurement process and/or a TUPE consultation needs to be run)? 

We are helping clients explore how best to prepare for handing back the "keys" – their plan to achieve a compliant handback and what to consider before entering discussions across the different sectors or commissioning surveys. Ignoring any wider changes of policy that may occur, we are supporting clients on their strategy for potential re-procurement opportunities for services immediately following the expiry date. 

Our expectation is that the lessons learnt from UK handback will apply to the wave of international PPP projects that are scheduled to expire in the late 2030s onwards. 

See further information and our ongoing Insight series on handback-related issues: 

  1. Ten questions contractual parties ask about UK PFI project hand backs
  2. What procurement questions should contracting parties have in mind when anticipating the expiry of UK PFI contracts? 
  3. What happens to the project company at the expiry of UK PFI contracts? and
  4. How to get ahead and avoid disputes prior to UK PFI handback 

What might a Labour government mean for the infrastructure sector?

Government policy often drives the development priorities for the infrastructure sector. After decades of underinvestment, the new government will need to give some thought to what is next for infrastructure.

Our experts consider what might be in store now Labour forms the next government.

Read more


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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