The NSW Government has taken another step to slash red tape for the heavy vehicle industry opening up to 98 per cent of the state owned road network to Higher Mass Limit (HML) vehicles.
A permit was previously required to operate HML vehicles in NSW but thanks to a recent Declaration released by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), transport operators no longer need permits to operate eligible vehicles on assessed and approved routes which include some regional and council owned roads.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said from 2 April this year a significant number of pre-approved HML routes across the state became accessible under the New South Wales Higher Mass Limits declaration 2015 (No. 1).
"Removing the requirement to obtain permits and offering a higher degree of access certainty to NSW transport operators will improve efficiency and delivery times for industry," Mr Gay said.
NHVR Chairman Bruce Baird thanked Minister Gay, Roads Maritime Services (RMS) and the industry for their hard work and contribution to this new arrangement.
"Over the past year the NHVR has listened to what our customers want and need. We have made the required changes to our business and results like this speak for themselves. We know that there is still more work to be done, but we now have the right tools to continue delivering outcomes to provide a safer and more productive heavy vehicle industry for the benefit of all," Mr Baird said.
NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said that through this partnership with the NSW Government, the NHVR has been able to produce a Declaration that applies the same conditions on the same routes
"Since 10 February 2014, the Regulator has issued 425 permits involving one or more NSW Road Managers, 389 of the permits involving Roads and Maritime," Mr Petroccitto said.
For the 219 transport operators with more than 1,166 vehicles enrolled in the NSW Intelligent Access Program, the initiative provides a more transparent and efficient access system. RMS provide maps and lists of approved roads including approved council roads at www.rms.nsw.gov.au/rav-hml-networks.
Kelvin Baxter managing director of Baxter Transport, a major NSW HML permit applicant with up to 30 permits issued since last February said he believes the improved HML process is a step in the right direction.
"By removing the individual HML process, this will shorten our paperwork timeframe by 4-7 days and this is great news," Mr Baxter said.
The Declaration applies to eligible short combinations, B-doubles, Type 1 A-double road trains (including Modern Road Trains), AB-triples, B-triples and Modular B-triples.