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We won’t budge on HML, NSW says

NSW refuses to overhaul HML process and has dismissed criticism from the trucking industry over the running of the scheme

By Brad Gardner

NSW will not overhaul its approach to higher mass limits (HML) and has dismissed criticism from the trucking industry over the running of the scheme.

The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) will continue to deny access to detailed HML maps unless trucking companies first enrol in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP).

Despite claims businesses will reject IAP unless the process is reversed, a spokeswoman for Minister for Roads Michael Daley says the restriction is effective.

“It encourages the take-up of IAP,” she says, adding that operators gain something in return for submitting to the monitoring scheme.

“There are no plans to review or change the [HML] process.”

The Victorian Transport Association says companies want to be certain they can travel on a particular route before spending money installing IAP technology.

This, the VTA says, can only happen if the Government grants full access to HML maps.

But Daley’s spokeswoman says companies can work out if HML is available on certain routes before signing up to the program.

“The RTA does provide a free route confirmation service for transport operators who want to know if HML would benefit their business,” she says.

Under this method, operators can submit a form to the RTA outlining where they want their vehicle to begin its journey, what roads they want it to travel on and where they want it to end.

But only the maps provide a complete list of state, regional and local roads suitable for HML.

The VTA’s Neil Chambers says the decision to hide HML maps lacks transparency and the routes should be published online similar to other states such as Queensland.

“Why can’t you have gazetted routes under strict condition that you meet all HML requirements?” he asks.

According to a recent member survey conducted by the VTA, only 88 of the 585 trucks pre-enrolled in IAP in NSW would be enrolled by July 1 due to uncertainty over HML access.

The survey involved 22 operators who have a combined fleet of more than 3,000 trucks.

“It is the lack of clear route access that is leading to a lukewarm take-up of IAP enrolment,” VTA Chief Executive Phil Lovel says.

Newly-announced IAP service provider Transport Compliance Services (TCS) has also criticised the restrictions, saying companies will revert back to standard limits unless the Government releases the maps.

From tomorrow, operators will have no choice but to enrol in IAP if they want access to the 14,000 kilometres of road network under HML in NSW.

Queensland has also imposed IAP for HML access, while Victoria limited it to cranes and concrete pump trucks.

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