The slow and painful transition to a truly national regulatory framework from the current confusion of some state and some national rules took another small step forward this week. The NSW Government has removed the requirement for a permit for all trucks wanting to operate under HML, opening up to 98 per cent of the state owned road network to all HML vehicles.
The Declaration released by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) tells us transport operators no longer need permits to operate eligible vehicles on assessed and approved routes which include some regional and council owned roads.
“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,” said Duncan Gay, NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight.
NHVR Chairman Bruce Baird is quoted, by an National Heavy Vehicle Regulator statement, as thanking Minister Gay, Roads Maritime Services (RMS) and the trucking 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,” said Baird. “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.”
There are 219 transport operators with more than 1,166 vehicles enrolled in the NSW Intelligent Access Program. The initiative from the NHVR and RMS should provide a more transparent and efficient access system.
Kelvin Baxter, Managing Director of Baxter Transport, a major NSW HML permit applicant with up to 30 permits issued since last February is quoted by the NHVR as saying 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 four to seven days and this is great news,” said Baxter.
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.