Victoria sees 'opportunities' in IAP expansion

Victorian roads minister says IAP can be expanded beyond current role; suggests using it for HML and night operations

By Brad Gardner | November 27, 2009

The Intelligent Access Program (IAP) may be expanded beyond its current role, Victoria’s Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas says.

Speaking at a technology summit last week, Pallas told attendees he sees "enormous opportunities" in using the device, which tracks a vehicle’s movements to ensure it does not stray onto a restricted route.

Victoria currently applies IAP to super B-doubles, concrete pump trucks and cranes but Pallas suggested using it to give operators access to higher mass limits (HML).

"While at this stage we’re using IAP for route compliance and to give the community confidence in the use of longer combinations, I see other opportunities," Pallas told the Intelligent Transport Systems Summit.

"IAP will enable vehicles with more mass to gain access to a specified road or network while keeping them off roads unable to cope with higher mass limits," he says.

Pallas also spoke of using the tool alongside incentives to encourage the industry to work outside peak times, adding that IAP could replace paper-based permits and allow operators to show they are meeting their chain of responsibility requirements.

He says IAP can also help improve the community acceptance of truck movements because larger vehicles will be restricted in where they can travel.

He says IAP is also the "industry’s ticket to wider community acceptance" because it allays community concerns over truck movements.

"Much of the community’s fear of bigger trucks is that these larger combinations might somehow find their way into residential streets or rumble through their local shopping centre," Pallas says.

"IAP is the technology we can use to assure the community that this is not the case and certainly not the intention."

During his speech, Pallas told attendees technological solutions are vital to resolving traffic congestion, improving safety and cutting pollution while meeting growing demands on the transport network.

He says the answer to traffic concerns is not to build more railways or freeways or to expand ports or widen arterial roads.

"These days, it’s far better to make more efficient use of existing infrastructure, and technology will be one of the ways we will do that," he says.

Unlike Victoria, governments in Queensland and New South Wales decided to link IAP to HML access.

South Australia earlier this year passed legislation to introduce the monitoring device, with the Rann Government saying it will follow Victoria’s lead in using it for higher productivity vehicles.

IAP has also been criticised by aspects of the trucking industry due to the costs involved and the lack of assurance over whether companies will receive access in return for installing the technology.

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