From August 2023, a pilot has been launched by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to begin rolling out the Network Management Tool including management of both gazetted and pre-approved network maps. Sal Petroccitto OAM, Chief Executive Officer, NHVR says these tools will be crucial in improving the Portal for both industry and government alike, increasing productivity and efficiency.
Proactively managing over 1,000 renewal cases in the Next Generation Route Planner (NGRP) to reduce impact on customers.
In April 2022, the NHVR released the newest version of its route planner to map and display approved routes by heavy vehicles. The new route planner, known as the NGRP, provides more real-time data updates, ensuring improved reliability, quality, and completeness of data for industry when planning journeys.
Since the release of NGRP in April 2022, industry has been transitioning from using the legacy route planner as the routing engine for permit applications to using the NGRP. From mid-July 2023, the legacy route planner was removed from the Portal, and all new and amended permit applications have been submitted using the NGRP.
Part of this transition included utilising the improved road management data noted above, to ensure the NGRP displays information that is as accurate as possible. By ensuring all road managers have the right ownership of roads, permit consent is sought from the correct road manager. The NHVR also performed devoted training and support for operators, as well as having a dedicated team to transition renewals and reduce the chance of any impact on operators.
Since the legacy route planner was removed, a new NHVR team has been proactively working through over 1000 renewal cases, where the road infrastructure or road ownership may have changed. This dedicated team provide open question and answer forums for operators, successfully minimising the impact to operators.
For example, in one case, new consent was required as a railway overpass had been deconstructed on General Holmes Drive in Mascot, NSW. If this permit had been renewed without updating the road data, the permit would be unusable and rendered mute. With the new consent now received, the NHVR can issue the customer with an amendment permit to allow the vehicle to travel compliantly to the approved route and conduct its freight task successfully.
In the past, an example like this where such changes in road infrastructure occurred, it may have taken up to one to two months to resolve. By comparison, with NGRP, the issue has been managed proactively, with no time impact to the operator.
Enhancing access to bridges and culverts
One of our most exciting projects, SLGAAP, is continuing to support local government to better understand their asset capability and inform heavy vehicle access decision-making. Through SLGAAP, engineers are funded to undertake asset assessments for councils across Australia.
Phase 2, Round 2 of SLGAAP is well underway and includes engineering assessments for 125 critical assets across 33 councils. Once completed, the total number of assessments completed under SLGAAP will be close to 600 assessments across 88 local council areas.
Working with local government for Heavy Vehicle Priority Routes
As part of the project, the SLGAAP team is working with councils to verify approximately 2000 local government priority heavy vehicle routes identified that play a critical role in supporting the movement of goods across communities.
The key benefits of focusing efforts on priority routes include targeted prioritisation and assessment of local government assets, helping local government identify strategic corridors, a national consolidated dataset for local government roads and a strategic link between local roads and key freight routes. Through this work, the SLGAAP team is assisting both local government in the management of heavy vehicles on their roads, as well as creating greater efficiencies for the heavy vehicle industry.
To learn more about these projects we have underway, I encourage you to visit the NHVR website or look out for opportunities to engage with our teams, who frequently attend industry events around Australia.
Thank you to industry for continuing to work with us and support the incredibly important movement of trucks across the country.