Route access maps go live and interactive

By: Brad Gardner

PBS access routes go live with launch of interactive online maps system similar to Google Maps

Route access maps go live and interactive
Route access maps go live and interactive

A new maps system designed to streamline the performance-based standards (PBS) process has gone live, slashing the time taken to determine access routes.

The National Transport Commission today released its interactive map portal, listing in one place the access routes for all levels of vehicles in all states and territories.

Similar to the Google Maps application, users can zoom in to a street level to determine exactly where their vehicle can travel.

Companies previously had to approach individual jurisdictions to access PBS maps, leading to frustration over an inability to plan routes across different jurisdictions and local road networks.

"It would be a huge benefit to operators to have a single national portal," the deputy chair of the PBS review panel, Neil Findlay, says.

"The information previously was…quite fragmented."

The access levels for the four classes of vehicles are colour coded so that routes displayed on the map for general access, B-double, type one road trains and type two road trains are all different.

Findlay, who ran Findlay Bulk Services for more than 30 years, says operators have long been calling for more information on access.

He says the portal now gives operators and customers the information to make informed decisions on whether PBS is necessary for them.

"I think it is a good tool for operators," Findlay says.

NTC Chief Executive Nick Dimopoulos says the portal will be a valuable tool for trucking companies and another step towards a nationally consistent transport system.

The new map is seen as the first stage of an evolving process, with the NTC saying more features such as the location of rest areas, weighbridges, refuelling areas and general truck information can also be added.

Findlay says such features will be a big benefit to operations managers planning trips.

Despite the change, operators must still approach individual jurisdictions for access permits.

The NTC will release early next month a regulatory impact statement on options to improve the approvals process.

ATN understands the NTC will recommend the national heavy regulator as the one-stop-shop for the approvals process rather than individual governments.

The release of the portal caps off an intensive project by the NTC which began in July last year.

PBS allows operators to increase productivity by using larger vehicles that meet specified safety standards. It sets minimum safety standards to ensure the trucks are stable and can turn and stop safely.

Click here to access the map portal.

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