EXCLUSIVE: IAP reforms to entice operators


Existing in-vehicle units to be assessed, while flexible pricing means operators will only pay for IAP when carrying HML loads

EXCLUSIVE: IAP reforms to entice operators
<font color=red>EXCLUSIVE</font>: NSW reforms IAP to entice operators
By Rob McKay | December 12, 2012

Policy makers are aiming to improve the attractiveness of the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) to trucking operators by implementing a new pricing regime and allowing existing in-vehicle units to be certified.

New South Wales Roads Minister Duncan Gay has detailed to ATN the outcome of a review of the monitoring scheme, which NSW instigated earlier this year. The IAP is mandatory in NSW and Queensland for operators wanting to operate at higher mass limits (HML).

The review was flagged in May, and the state’s Road Freight Industry Council last week examined the IAP’s operational and financial advantages and drawbacks.

The council, whose membership includes government and industry representatives, consulted with councils, the NRMA and Transport Certification Australia (TCA), which administers the IAP, about ways to improve the usability and cost of the IAP for transport operators.

Stakeholders provided presentations on the IAP, including industry representatives from the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), NatRoad and the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA).

Gay tells ATN that a key initiative to emerge from the meeting was a new entry options scheme to make it easier for transport operators to have their existing in-vehicle units assessed and type-approved to comply with national IAP standards.

"TCA confirmed they have been working with Simon National Carriers, Toll Group and Boral to assess and explore the standard of their devices," he says.

"Discussions focused on a more flexible approach to allow transport operators to have their existing in-vehicle units (IVUs) assessed for use in the IAP."

Another initiative announced by TCA was the development of flexible IAP pricing options for transport operators.

At the meeting, transport operators indicated that for a large part of the industry only a small proportion of trips are loaded to HML.

The occasional productivity gains from HML are therefore not always sufficient to cover the overall cost of IAP enrolment.

"In response, flexible pricing arrangements will be developed by IAP service providers for transport operators that load to HML on an occasional basis," Gay says.

"The availability of flexible pricing means operators will be able to enrol more of their vehicles into the IAP and have the flexibility of using vehicles to carry HML loads when they need to, and to pay on that basis.

"This can provide more flexible options for operators who occasionally need to load vehicles to HML, improving productivity and reducing overall costs."

Gay says Boral has started preparations to reap the benefits of the new initiatives by having its existing IVUs assessed for use in the IAP and have indicated it plans to use flexible pricing when it becomes available.

"Presentations and discussions were lively and included further potential options to improve route assurance in NSW while continuing to cut red tape and costs for the road freight industry," Gay says.

"RMS also committed to produce Google-based maps for approved HML routes as has been done for other restricted vehicle combinations which will provide another tool for heavy vehicle drivers to ensure they are on the correct route.

"I encourage industry participants to embrace the more flexible approach to the IAP, and the flexible pricing options, as they take effect."

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