Assessing permits using consent parameters, rather than each individual vehicle, is the cornerstone to improving heavy vehicle access on Australian roads, according to an NHVR submission to the HVNL.
The recommendations to the HVNL Review, which is being conducted by the National Transport Commission, aimed to reduce the burden on road managers and operators by providing clear parameters for permit assessments.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said establishing consent parameters would be part of a framework that allowed road managers to set limits for mass or dimension, or even no-go zones, where infrastructure cannot withstand certain heavy vehicle movements.
“Reducing permit numbers will allow the NHVR and road managers to provide greater focus for complex or unusual applications,” Sal said.
“Our access system should also better recognise newer and modern vehicles, including Performance Based Standards vehicles, which utilise the latest safety and performance technology.
“We can also reduce the burden on operators by considering a simplified heavy vehicle classification system, based on the performance of a vehicle within an agreed envelope.
“Over the past five years the NHVR has seen firsthand the challenges to access. We have the opportunity to reform the law to deliver great outcomes for industry and road managers.”
The NHVR responded to the issues paper Easy Access to Suitable Routes—one-of-eight issues papers released as part the review of the HVNL.
The paper also calls for additional support for road managers to assess infrastructure, particularly where it causes a pinch points on an otherwise suitable heavy vehicle network.
Inconsistent responses to access requests by road managers cause confusion and lost productivity across the heavy vehicle industry.
The NHVR submission highlights examples where restricting access to single trips “is a major cause of delays, administrative costs and commercial risk to operators”.
“A national risk assessment framework drives a shared responsibility by both road managers and industry—while road managers are required to know their infrastructure capabilities, transport operators will have a requirement of self-assessing their vehicle access on the network in line with this capability,” the report says.
The NHVR has outlined the four components for a modern heavy vehicle access system as:
- risk based access framework
- dynamic national network maps
- shared movement data
- targeted infrastructure funding.
To see the full submission to this paper and other responses to the HVNL Review visit www.nhvr.gov.au/submissions