Industry reps meet VicRoads on super B-doubles

Industry meets with VicRoads in "robust" meeting to discuss criteria for the higher productivity vehicles trial

By Samantha Freestone

Industry representatives have met with VicRoads to discuss criteria for the higher productivity vehicles trial, with the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) Neil Chambers describing the briefing as "robust".

The impromptu meeting was called on Tuesday to explain details of the trial ahead of any official announcement, expected to be in the coming weeks.

Members of the VTA Container Group, the Victorian Freight and Logistics Council (VFLC) and Director of Vehicle Management and Safety for VicRoads Don Hogben attended the meeting.

At the meeting it is understood Hogben revealed criteria for the two higher productivity vehicles (HPVs) trials outside of the Port of Melbourne precinct and in the ‘green triangle’ region in south-west Victoria.

Chambers says the VTA is "pleased that Mr Hogben agreed to brief [VTA] members".

"We had a robust exchange of views with VicRoads and equally Don was straight with the operators present about the reasons why the Government is framing the trials in the manner proposed," Chambers says.

"We all agree that a clear objective is to frame the trial so that has every chance of success.

"Equally however, it is in everyone's interests to ensure that local government and the community generally are able to respond positively to the trial and its outcomes in proving that HPVs can be operated safety and sustainably on the wider road network, taking account of such factors as local amenity, road wear and tear and the need to meet the growing freight task."

Hogben says the trial focuses on B-Doubles which are longer (up to 30m) than normal freight vehicles and move more tonnage per vehicle.

"This means fewer trips on Victorian roads, resulting in cost savings for industry, less truck traffic for communities, improved road safety and fewer emissions," he says.

"Guidelines for the high productivity freight vehicle trial will be released in the near future and will be available on the VicRoads website."

The trial is part of the Victorian Transport Plan, with Minister for Roads and Ports Tim Pallas saying he expects it "to be a success".

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