Victoria details HPFV map system

By: Anjali Behl

The new system will offer container transporters an interactive view of Victoria's heavy vehicle network

Victoria details HPFV map system
VicRoads senior policy officer Victor Trumper (left) with roads and ports minister Luke Donnellan.


Victorian roads and ports minister Luke Donnellan presented initial information about the state's Higher Productivity Freight Vehicle (HPFV) network maps at a breakfast event hosted by the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) in Melbourne today.

The maps initiative aims to give drivers and operators detailed real-time information about the Victorian HPFV route network.

Donnellan's presentation included information about access for HPFV Super B-doubles at 73 tonnes (Quad/Tri configuration) and 77.5 tonnes (Quad/Quad) on regional and metropolitan principle freight roads, and an associated interactive map.

"We recognise that a growing freight task in Victoria – and perhaps more importantly, a growing export freight task – means we have to find smarter ways to move more freight more efficiently," Donnellan says.

"We are seeing huge increases in exports of food and fibre, and how efficiently we can move these exports from farm gate to port – a big factor in our export competitiveness.

Donnellan says the government has started a program to upgrade bridges across Victoria to bear the load of HPFV operating at higher mass limits.

"This is a joint program between the Commonwealth and the state that will upgrade 10 bridges on the M1, 10 on the Hume Freeway, seven on the Goulburn Valley Highway and four on the Western Highway.

"We want to see the freight network throughout the state open to 30-metre HPFVs at higher mass limits – 85.5 tonnes for an A-double and 77.5 tonnes for a B-double.

"And in regional areas, we will also permit combinations up to 36 metres long – as we are already doing on the road-train network in north-west Victoria."

Addressing the container transport operators at the event, the minister says the new measurements will help them meet customer demands and "help Victoria meet the challenge of the growing freight task, particularly the growing export trade in food and fibre.

"VicRoads has produced an online map that indicates route capacity and the types of vehicles that will be permitted to operate on those routes.

"The online map highlights the mass limits on the route and gives detail of any restrictions along the way."

Donnellan says the government is working on a map dealing with A-double vehicles and expects VicRoads to provide operator-related information in the coming months.

It is also looking at the Wester Distributor project, which can potentially deliver a of a benefit of $1.30 for every dollar invested, he says.

"There are still a number of design details to be finalised, in particular the location of ramps at the western portal near Williamstown Road.

"The final design will allow HPFVs operating at higher mass limits access to the Port, and placarded loads will have access to the Yarraville terminal from the West Gate Freeway."

Welcoming today’s announcement, the Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) says the map will help operators analyse the strengths and constraints of the network, and initiate discussions about freight route and bridge infrastructure investment priorities.

"The on-line interactive map is unique, in that for the first time, the capacity of the principal freight network and some important arterial roads to accommodate HPFVs at higher mass have been made transparent, including where there are infrastructure impediments," CTAA director Neil Chambers says.

"From a container transport perspective, this is all about freight productivity to/from the Port of Melbourne, particularity for our vital yet heavy agricultural export commodities such as grain, milk powder, hay, paper and the like.

"Improved freight productivity is vital if Victorian exports are to compete internationally and thrive."

"This just starts the conversations.

"There’s now plenty to do between industry and government to get the best out of this sensible policy to allow HPFVs to access the network towards their design payload capabilities."

Map details can be accessed here.


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