Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon


This edition of Austroads News focuses on the finalisation of three significant Austroads projects: a four year project to improve roadside safety, a two year project to review the primary bridge capacity assessment guidelines used in Australia and an update to three parts of the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management.  

Improving Roadside Safety

Roadside hazards pose a major risk to the occupants of vehicles which run off the road. Providing forgiving roadsides is one of the aims of the Safe System vision.

In February Austroads finalised a four year project to investigate the key elements required to provide more forgiving roadsides.

The investigations included the role of different clear zone widths in controlling the likelihood and severity of run-off-road casualty crashes, making roadside structures more forgiving (e.g. frangible poles), and more effective selection and placement of safety barriers. The project also included an investigation of safety barriers/attenuators to improve motorcycle and heavy vehicle safety.

The key outcome of the project is a proposed roadside safety management framework focussing on minimising fatal and serious injuries arising from run-off-road crashes.

The project produced five reports:

Improving Roadside Safety: Summary Report  (2014)

Improving Roadside Safety: Stage 4 Interim Report (2014)

Improving Roadside Safety: Stage 3 Interim Report (2012)

Improving Roadside Safety: Stage 2 Interim Report (2011)

Improving Roadside Safety (2010)

Towards a Nationally Consistent Approach of Assessing Bridge Capacity

There is significant pressure in Australia to improve freight productivity through the national reform agenda. A key component of the reform plan is to improve access to the road network for heavy vehicle operators. Bridge capacity assessment is critical to this aim.

This project reviewed the principal documents associated with detailed bridge capacity assessment - the Australian Standard AS5100.7: Rating of existing bridges released in 2004 and the Guidelines for Bridge Load Capacity Assessment produced by the Austroads Bridge Assessment Group in 1997.

A draft of the proposed new AS 5100.7 standard was produced as part of the project and the wording is included in the report.  A key aspect of the revised provisions was to improve the transparency and rigour of bridge assessment and facilitate the implementation of a nationally consistent approach.

The report includes a discussion of the key issues and supporting information which help stakeholders to understand the background of various evaluation factors used in bridge load rating and heavy vehicle assessment.

Download the report

New Editions of Guide to Traffic Management Released

In late February Austroads published three updated parts of the Guide to Traffic Management. The Austroads Guide to Traffic Management consists of 13 parts and provides a comprehensive coverage of traffic management guidance for practitioners involved in traffic engineering, road design and road safety. 

  • Part 4: Network Management has updated information relating to Network Operations.
  • Part 5: Road Management includes updated guidance on road space allocation, lane management and speed limits. 
  • Part 9: Traffic Operations includes enhanced material related to traffic signals, including phasing design, modal treatments, complex situations and an updated example of signal design. It also reflects advancements in systems and procedures for traffic control, including ramp metering, lane management systems, variable speed limits and variable message signs.

The Guide's parts have been downloaded 40,000 times in the last three years.

The Guides can be purchased as individual parts or in a set. Staff from Australian and New Zealand transport agencies and local councils can download the Guides as PDFs for no charge. Contact Austroads for log-in details. 

National Guidelines for Transport Systems Management Revision

In February the Steering Committee revising the National Guidelines for Transport Systems Management (NGTSM) released a project update.

The NGTSM sets the standard for transport planning and evaluation in Australia. Last published in 2006, the current revision will bring the guidelines up-to-date to ensure ongoing best practice.  It will also absorb the Austroads Guides on road transport planning and project evaluation to strengthen and consolidate guidance for practitioners in this important area of economic infrastructure development.

Read the project update here

Upcoming Workshops and Conferences

An Introduction to the Australian National Risk Assessment Model (ANRAM)
4 March 2014, Online webinar [No charge]

Austroads Polymer Modified Binder (PMB) Spray Seal Trials
13 March 2014, Online webinar [No charge]

Velo City Global Cycling Conference
27-29 May 2014, Adelaide, Australia

IPWEA Sustainability in Public Works
27-29 July 2014, Tweed Heads/Coolangatta, Australia

AITPM National Traffic and Transport Conference
12-15 August 2014, Adelaide Australia

26th ARRB Conference
19-22 October 2014, Sydney Australia

Austroads Bridge Conference
22-24 October 2014, Sydney, Australia