Greater access to the road network for HPFVs needed

The Victorian Transport Association wants the Victorian Government to stop 'persisting' with the existing trial of Higher Productivity Freight Vehicles

By Ruza Zivkusic | August 15, 2011

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is calling for the removal of "artificial" criteria that deters optimum investment in vehicle innovation and productivity, Deputy CEO Neil Chambers says.

In a letter sent to VicRoads’ Chief Executive Gary Liddle, VTA says it is "heartened" that VicRoads is taking a "pragmatic approach" in revisiting the criteria set out in the Guidelines for Next Generation High Productivity Freight Vehicle (HPFV) Trial in Victoria and seeking approval from the Victorian Minister for Roads Terry Mulder.

"The VTA has always maintained that it is counter-productive to impose artificial criteria for HPFV access, including by limiting vehicle types, lengths, mass and time of day operations," the letter states.

"The VTA is firmly of the view that if the vehicle/combination meets the Performance Based Standards (PBS), and that route and infrastructure assessments conducted by road managers at the state and local levels are favourable, then HPFV access should be granted.

"It is also accepted that for restricted access vehicles greater than 26 metres in length, the additional mandatory criteria of Euro IV prime movers and route-compliance tracking via the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) will be imposed by the government.

"On this basis, we do not believe that the government should characterise any expansion of the access scheme for HPFV as an extension of the current trial."

Instead, VTA wants the government to adopt a scheme similar to the one administered by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Queensland to assess and grant access to HPFV against PBS Class B access criteria on identified freight routes of significance.

VTA and its members have met with VicRoads on August 2 to discuss access to the road network for HPFV.

"A significant issue is that we do not believe that the Victorian Government should persist with the existing ‘trial’ of HPFV," Chambers says.

VTA is urging the government to adopt a ‘roll-out’ strategy to grant access to HPFV assessed against PBS Class B access criteria on significant freight routes, he adds.

"The VTA will continue to lobby the minister, the government and officials to ensure that we get an enhanced access scheme in Victoria that allows operators to invest with more certainty in productive, innovative and safety higher productivity freight vehicles designs."

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