SMART roads for heavy vehicles

As a first step toward an integrated road network for SMART heavy vehicles, the National Transport Commission (NTC) has published initial maps. 

The road maps form part of the Performance Based Standards (PBS) reform approved in October 2007, directed by the Australian Transport Council.

“The maps are a starting point to identify and address the gaps and mismatches on the existing national road network and move toward a more integrated and productive transport system,” NTC chief executive Nick Dimopoulos said.

The PBS scheme aims to provide SMART vehicles with access to a suitable road network based on the vehicle’s ability to stop, turn and travel safely without damaging road infrastructure. Vehicles with better performance will be given an increased level of access to the road network.

“NTC is committed to ensuring PBS meets the needs of industry. The PBS review is an opportunity for this important COAG reform to reach its full productivity and road safety potential,” Mr Dimopoulos said.

The maps were released to provide guidance for transport operators in planning PBS applications, while access to the network is subject to approval of the vehicle design and permits issued by states and territories. Maps for Victoria and Tasmania are currently being finalised.

A regulatory impact statement due next year will incorporate outcomes from the PBS review, including a proposal to replace vehicle permits with regulations.

The initial PBS maps can be viewed here.

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