The access issues which have dogged the Performance Based Standards scheme and permits for larger trucks or over size and over mass may see a road assessment breakthrough if a new joint initiative from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the Australian Road Research Board proves effective.
The agreement between the NHVR and the national transport research organisation has been developed to deliver a new route assessment tool free to road managers from participating jurisdictions through the NHVR Portal.
Many access applications suffer from unnecessary delays or unexplained refusals due to a lack of knowledge and expertise in some of the road managing teams in smaller and more rural jurisdictions. If road engineers are in any doubt about the ability of a road to be able to cope with a new vehicle, they tend to reject the application. The new technology should introduce more certainty in decision making.
The new technology of the Restricted Access Vehicle Route Assessment Tool (RAVRAT) is expected to provide local governments with a consistent assessment tool and methodology when assessing heavy vehicle access requests.
“The NHVR and road managers processed almost 35,000 access permit requests in 2017-18, more than half of all permit applications across Australia,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO. “Heavy vehicle operators are looking to the NHVR and road managers to provide a consistent transparent approach to making access decisions and this tool is an important step forward. The fact that we’ve been able to work with ARRB and several local government associations will provide consistency while saving road managers time and money.”
ARRB’s State Technical Leader Matthew Bereni said RAVRAT 2.0 includes a new user interface for the website and integration into NHVR Portal – Road Manager Module.
“There have been a number of improvements to RAVRAT which will ensure a reduction in assessment times, improved user experience and enhanced training material,” said Matthew. “RAVRAT currently incorporates three main route assessment modules with the aim to develop more modules in the future.”
For more information about using RAVRAT or the recent changes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.