The National Transport Commission have published a draft review of the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) and are calling for comments from the industry on the performance of the system so far.
The NTC reports the reception of the IAP by operators has been good. They use the electronic monitoring of the location and speed of their vehicles to assure road authorities the trucks are complying with road access conditions. In return, operators gain better access to specific roads with mass allowances.
So far, 2438 trucks have enrolled with IAP, compared to the original estimate of 8383 by this point. This suggests many operators are wary of the technology, its effectiveness or cost of operation. Fortunately for the governments involved, this slow uptake has reduced the cost of the scheme, $68 million, much lower than the original estimate of $203 million. Truck operators have been estimated to have spent $18-24 million over the same period.
The NTC put the slow uptake down to a number of factors, including state authorities making fewer IAP applications available than originally thought, introduction of Concessional Mass Limits and the costs of enrolling in the scheme. In the last consideration, the costs, in terms of going through the application process itself need to be taken into account, along with the actual cost of installing and using the monitoring equipment.
The conclusion reached by the NTC is, ‘It appears that the objective of the IAP is being achieved’. Any operator who disagrees with this statement may want to head to the NTC website where comments and submissions can be posted. The NTC is seeking feedback on this report and the draft recommendations by 25 July 2014
In the recommendations, there is a call for greater transparency, on the part of the IAP and Transport Certification Australia which administers it, by the NTC, something which may reduce suspicion of the IAP system as it currently stands.