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AustroadsNews | May 2016 

Welcome to the May edition of AustroadsNews. This newsletter introduces our new Program Managers, provides a run-down on our latest publications, links to other relevant work in Australasia and elsewhere, and links to upcoming seminars and conferences.

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April Austroads Board Meeting Communiqué

The Austroads Board met on 6 April 2016 in Darwin, Northern Territory. Peter Duncan, Chief Executive, Roads and Maritime Services New South Wales chaired the meeting. The Communiqué provides an overview of the meeting including an update on the Board's strategic projects.


Meet the new Austroads Program Managers

With the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan due to be implemented in July, the managers leading the new Assets, Safety and Network Programs and the Connected and Automated Vehicles Project have now been appointed. The Task Forces and current Program Managers and Coordinators have been developing work programs for the first 12 months of the strategic plan period and the Board have commended their work. We welcome the new Program Managers and are pleased to introduce you to them below.


Dr Richard Yeo, PhD, MEng,
BE (Hons)

Dr Richard Yeo, Program Manager Assets

Dr Richard Yeo has extensive research and management experience in the roads sector. Most recently he was Executive Manager National Interest Services with the ARRB Group (Australian Road Research Board) where he had oversight of the delivery of in-depth research and portfolio management for national research and information programs. Richard's technical expertise is based in pavement technology and road infrastructure disciplines and he has worked across asset management and network operations areas. 

"My role covers national task forces for asset management (which is overarching) and the more specific technical disciplines of bridges, tunnels, pavements and surfacings, as well as project delivery. I am looking forward to working across all of these areas to pursue Austroads key purpose - improving safety, productivity and sustainability of the road networks managed by member agencies. With the new program structure, I am also looking forward to working very closely with my colleagues in the safety and network programs as so many of the initiatives, innovations and research topics cut across all areas, "Richard said.

As an initial focus, there is currently a strong impetus for national harmonisation. This is not a trivial exercise and careful selection of specific issues, topics to pursue and timing is critical.

"I have already come across a number of areas where much good work has been conducted to date and I am keen to push a number of these over the line. Areas such as pavement markings, general conditions of contract, steelworks fabrication and pre-qualification for specialist categories are top of the list."


David Bobbermen CPEng, RPEQ, MIEAust

David Bobbermen, Program Manager Safety

David has worked in a variety of road infrastructure disciplines for more than 35 years and held senior engineering, policy, operational and management positions for Transport and Main Roads Queensland. David led the planning and rapid implementation of an affordable network-wide response to one of the worst performing highways in Australia. This resulted in reducing fatalities by more than 50% within two years which was recognised by the 3M Australasian College of Road Safety Diamond Award for 2015.

David is looking forward to working with practitioners across all jurisdictions to share best practice and make a significant step change to improve road safety performance across Australia and New Zealand. "This will be important as Austroads adopts and implements "safe system" thinking and to meet commitments of the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 and updates the Road Safety Action Plan," David said.

"I want to develop a culture where no stone is unturned in the endeavour to save lives", David said.

David is keen to integrate the thinking from the Road Safety, Road Design, and Registration and Licensing Task Forces to achieve an outcome much greater than the sum of the parts. "With all road jurisdictions under significant pressure to be more efficient in an environment fiscal constraints, my focus will be on refining and simplifying practice," David said.


Natalie Lockwood, BEng (Hons)

Natalie Lockwood, Program Manager Network

Natalie Lockwood has worked as a Civil Engineer for Main Roads Western Austroads for 12 years and has held Program Coordination and Project Management roles in Austroads since 2009. Natalie has experience in Program Management, Stakeholder Management, Asset Management, Road Safety and Materials Engineering and in 2013 managed the development of the Travel Wellbeing stream of the Main Roads WA 2020 Strategic Plan. Natalie was also awarded the Main Roads Managing Director’s Professional Excellence Award in 2013.

"I recognise the significant depth of knowledge and experience in the Austroads task forces and working groups. Through working effectively and efficiently with our state and territory representatives, we will be able to provide strategic direction and leadership in network operations, freight management, active transport, Cooperative ITS and the emerging areas of automated vehicles," Natalie said.

Natalie is looking forward to working with colleagues in the new Assets and Safety Programs to deliver best practice research in a collaborative and agile environment.

"I acknowledge the challenges ahead, particularly with the growing congestion and productivity demands on our road networks. I look forward to working with Austroads member agencies and our stakeholders, to face these challenges together," Natalie said.


Stuart Ballingal, MBA, BEng (Hons)

Stuart Ballingal, Program Director Connected and Automated Vehicles

Stuart is the Program Director for Austroads' Connected and Automated Vehicles program, which involves planning for and establishing operational arrangements to support the deployment of Cooperative ITS and automated vehicles.  Stuart has significant experience leading technical programs that span across the transport, automotive, and ICT industries. Stuart has held previous senior roles with General Motors Holden, the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), and VicRoads. He is also an active member on numerous government and industry forums relating to transport technologies, both at the national and international level. 

"With the pending introduction of more connected and automated vehicles on our road networks, it is critical that road agencies are prepared not only to support their introduction in a consistent manner, but also strive to optimise the potential safety, mobility and environmental benefits of these emerging vehicles", Stuart said.

"The Austroads Connected and Automated Vehicles program will work closely with the Commonwealth, the National Transport Commission, and also other key stakeholders across government and industry to ensure that a consistent and collaborative approach is taken to the planning for C-ITS and automated vehicles."


Improving the safety performance of local roads

Austroads has released a report that examines the safety performance of local government managed roads and identifies cost effective Safe System measures.

Australian and New Zealand local councils manage more than 80% of the length of all public roads. These local roads tend to carry significantly lower traffic volumes than the state road networks; however, analysis shows they contribute to more than half of all casualties resulting from road crashes, and an estimated 40 and 46% of fatalities.

The lower exposure combined with the relatively high proportion of casualty crash severity means the risk to drivers on local government-managed roads is estimated to be up to twice that faced on state roads.

Several factors combine to make implementing best practice Safe System infrastructure improvements a concern for local government. However, local councils are in a unique position of being able to harness the commitment and resources from across their organisations, including the elected representatives and local community, to support changes in road user attitudes as well as road planning, design, construction and maintenance to achieve incremental improvements that can make an impact on road safety and contribute to achieving national road safety objectives.

The report presents a Safe System assessment framework developed for use by local government practitioners on local government-managed roads. It also provides an overview of the changes made to the Road Safety Engineering Toolkit to incorporate the assessment framework.

A Safe System Hierarchy of Control seeks to provide local government with a tool that can be used by technical and non-technical practitioners and that can be used to help communicate road safety risk and risk countermeasures to council management, elected representatives and the community.


RAP guidance provides performance certainty

Austroads has published guidance on the design and specification of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) mixes to reduce uncertainty surrounding the performance of asphalt mixes designed and manufactured with RAP

The use of RAP in asphalt mixes has significant economic and environmental benefits but requires design and production controls to ensure the product performs satisfactorily.

The project found that the binder blend characterisation according to test method AGPT/T193 is valid for a wide range of asphalt mixes and can be used with confidence for designing the binder blend in mixes containing RAP.

It also found that the addition of RAP to asphalt mixes, with different percentages of RAP and manufactured in different types of asphalt plants, does not have an adverse impact on performance. This was assessed by using performance-based tests such as flexural stiffness, wheel-tracking and moisture sensitivity. Test results showed that the addition of 40% RAP, validated on large-scale asphalt production, did not have a negative effect on the in situ workability and thermal segregation.

A feasibility study concluded that the RAP can be subjected to recycling multiple times. A long-term monitoring of RAP sources showed that there is little variation within a stockpile; however, there is significant variation within stockpiles over time. A comprehensive sensitivity study, using the Monte Carlo simulation, was performed as part of the validation process to provide insight into the variability, impact and risk assessment for asphalt mixes containing RAP. Binder blend characterisation should be required for asphalt mixes with RAP content greater than 15%.

The report notes the importance of implementing a RAP management plan and proposes amendments to the Guide to Pavement Technology Part 4B: Asphalt to incorporate the binder blend characterisation for mix designs containing RAP.


Better understanding the relationship between disadvantage and road safety

Austroads has published the results of a literature review and statistical analysis which investigate the relationship between disadvantage and road casualties.

The literature review confirmed that many studies have demonstrated increasing traffic injuries with lower socioeconomic status, despite wide difference in their design and the measures used. A number of Australian and New Zealand studies confirm high fatality and injury rates among Indigenous, Maori and Pacific Islander groups. An exception to the general pattern was a Victorian finding that the highest injury rates are for the middle of the disadvantage range, corresponding with one of the main findings of the present study.

The statistical analysis matched the postcodes of people involved in crashes with an index of social disadvantage derived from census data. Within each Statistical Local Area (SLA), covering a small number of postcodes, the population was divided into two gender and four age groups. Fatalities or serious injuries (FSI) in the crash database were allocated to these groups. Negative binomial models were developed for South Australia and Victoria, the only two jurisdictions for which serious injury and postcode data were available.

The models agreed well, but some features of the results were unexpected: the highest FSI rates were experienced by communities towards the middle of the range of disadvantage, and communities in the Inner Regional areas had unexpectedly high FSI rates. A negative binomial model was also developed for NSW based on all casualties rather than FSI since the database does not distinguish between serious and other injuries.

The model which emerged was very different from the others, showing a progressive increase in casualty rate with increasing disadvantage. Contrary to expectations, the injury rate for Major Cities was the highest, and injury rate for Very Remote communities was the lowest.

Recommendations include proceeding with the final stage of the project to develop an overview of relevant programs with a view to developing a strategy for more comprehensive coverage, analysis of the South Australian and Victorian data using all injury crashes to determine if the results from NSW can be replicated, investigation of the reasons for the high FSI rate for Inner Regional communities, and monitoring future programs to address disadvantage.


Local area traffic management guidance updated

Austroads has published a new edition of its Local Area Traffic Management guidance to reflect new design concepts and approaches to safety.

Guide to Traffic Management Part 8: Local Area Traffic Management is concerned with the planning and management of road space usage within a local area to reduce traffic volumes and speeds in local streets, to increase amenity and improve safety and access for residents, especially pedestrians and cyclists. It provides guidance for planners and engineers associated with the design, development and management of residential precincts.

Part 8 presents a systematic approach to traffic management in local areas, outlining the principles and practice of influencing driver behaviour in local streets – both directly by physical changes to the environment, and indirectly by influencing driver perceptions of what is appropriate behaviour.  It provides guidance on the selection, design, application and effectiveness of traffic control measures on an area-wide or at least whole-of-street basis, including effects such schemes may have on local and arterial road networks.

The Guide aims to:

  • promote a systematic approach to local area traffic management
  • summarise the common and most accepted types of local traffic control measures
  • provide some guidance on the application and design of different LATM treatments
  • describe the effectiveness of a wide range of traffic management devices in meeting particular objectives
  • discuss the effects that local area traffic schemes may have on road networks.

This latest edition of the Guide has been updated to:

  • reflect new design concepts and approaches to safety and local area traffic management
  • incorporate new evidence on the advantages and disadvantages of some LATM treatments
  • highlight that all four pillars of a Safe System should be central to the design of any LATM scheme
  • recognise that new LATM treatments have been developed and successfully trialled, and that the LATM treatments in most common use have changed
  • reflect the increased amount of information reported in relation to the management of pedestrians and cyclists within LATM treatments, particularly at lower speeds
  • recognise the increasing role of technology.

The PDF version of Guide to Traffic Management Part 8 is $104, hard copies are $130 + postage and handling.

Staff from Austroads member agencies can download PDF versions of the Guides for free. This includes all state and territory road agencies and local councils in Australia and New Zealand.

To request your user login and password for free access please send an email from your work email address to


World Road Association: Committee Reports and Latest Technical Reports

The meeting report from Technical Committee Meeting D.1 Asset Management is now available. The primary work of Technical Committee D.1 will be to finalise and publish a web-based Asset Management Manual. The meeting was attended by David Darwin, Outcome Delivery Manager NZ Transport Agency.

Fixed fire fighting systems in road tunnels

Fixed Fire Fighting Systems (FFFS) have been routinely used in road tunnels in countries such as Japan and Australia for decades, and there is increased interest in the use of FFFS in parts of Europe, North America and Asia. This report:

  • discusses the functional impact FFFS can make to the performance of tunnel fire safety systems,
  • presents information about the types of systems available and their use in road tunnels, and
  • provides advice on the design and selection of appropriate FFFS.

Improving safety in road tunnels through real-time communication

This report describes how to communicate information to tunnel users in normal, congested and critical situations. It details the various systems that can be activated for real-time communication with users and reviews how these devices can be used in cases of congestion, a serious incident and fire.

Life cycle analysis for tunnel equipment 

This report describes how life cycle analysis should be performed systematically, how system criteria can be used and aggregated, and how risk-based methods for system analysis can be applied.

Estimation of bridge load carrying capacity

This report examines the extent to which an estimation of the load bearing capacity of road bridges is made based on damage and deficiency.

PIARC was established in 1909 as a non-political, non-profit organisation that aims to develop international cooperation and foster progress in the area of roads and road transport. The organisation brings together the road administrations of 121 governments and has members in more than 140 countries. 


New road freight figures to inform road planning

The Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has updated its Road Freight Movements Survey with individual state and territory road freight movement summaries and detailed thematic maps identifying regional freight hotspots.

Freight is moved long distances by road in Australia, because of the size of the country as well as the many and diverse locations of its agricultural, mining, production and population centres.

The Road Freight Movements Survey provides statistics about the size and characteristics of the road freight task (articulated and rigid trucks only), including flows between geographic areas. This statistical information will assist in the development of transport policies and the efficient allocation of related resources.


Trucks to 'talk' to traffic lights to tackle congestion

NSW has announced a trial using connected technology to reduce the number of times trucks stop at traffic lights.

It is envisaged that the technology will improve travel time at more than 100 intersections across Sydney, resulting in smoother overall traffic flow for all road users.

The project, being delivered in partnership with Australian technology company Codha Wireless, will trial around 110 trucks using Cooperative Intelligent Transport System (CITS) technology which allows vehicles to communicate with road infrastructure.

As part of the trial, the smart infrastructure will be installed on key freight corridors including sections of Pennant Hills Road, Parramatta Road and King Georges Road.

The results of this project will inform the way connected vehicle technology is incorporated into other vehicles and is a key step towards readying Sydney for connected and automated vehicles.

Traffic monitoring will continue during the trial through the Transport Management Centre to ensure traffic continues moving and if needed the traffic light systems can override the wireless technology.


Smart parking trial begins in Manuka

The ACT Government has launched a trial of smart parking technology in the busy retail precinct of Manuka.

The 12 month trial is designed to help ease traffic congestion and travel time by using real-time technology to help Canberrans drive directly to the nearest parking space. This will support residents, local businesses and interstate visitors to move in and out of Manuka more easily, whether they are seeking on-street, off-street, free, paid, long-term or short-term parking.

The trial uses 460 infra-red parking bay sensors and WiFi to communicate information to a Smartphone application, as well as five new LED signs to guide patrons to available parking spaces. 

The app allows Canberra's drivers to view the availability of parking in Manuka before they leave, or for passengers to guide the driver to a parking space in the precinct. 


German cities trial crossings for preoccupied pedestrians

The German cities of Cologne and Augsburg are trialling a new initiative to keep distracted pedestrians safe.

Rows of LED lights have been installed into the curb at several street car stops around both cities. When a tram approaches, the strip of eight lights flash red, warning pedestrians to stop and look up.

According to the Germany-based transportation research firm Dekra, an estimated 17 percent of pedestrians engage with their smartphones in some way while walking. The prevalence of this habit is correlated with a rise in pedestrian accidents.

There's no word yet on when the test phase will be completed or how much the safety measure would cost if fully implemented. City officials first want to see if the lights are an effective way to keep pedestrians safe.


Road Safety Reports

Road Deaths Australia—Monthly Bulletins
Released mid month - Latest April 2016 
This bulletin contains current counts and summaries of road crash deaths and fatal road crashes in Australia. It is produced monthly and published on BITRE's website on or around the 14th of each month. Data are sourced from the road traffic or police authorities in each jurisdiction.


Austroads Bridge Conference 2017: Registrations Open

Registrations are now open for the Austroads Bridge Conference, Australia's premier bridge conference. ABC2017 will provide great opportunities for local and international bridge engineering specialists to share experiences, innovations, achievements and knowledge.

Submissions are warmly invited for presentations at ABC2017 which address the conference theme of Bridges: Connecting Communities and one or more of the following sub themes:

  • Bridge Analysis, Design and Assessment
  • Innovative Bridge Construction
  • Bridge Technology
  • Bridge Asset Management
  • Bridge Management Strategies
  • Bridge Engineering Heritage
  • Sustainability and Life Cycle Cost
  • Codes and Standards
  • Material Technology
  • Field Applications and Case Studies
  • Lessons Learnt from Bridge Damages and Failures
  • Load Assessment
  • Feature Projects

For more information visit the website


Upcoming Workshops + Conferences

IPWEA CIVINEX Expo | 18-19 May 2016, Hawkesbury Showgrounds, Sydney, NSW

Connected Autonomy in Smart Cities: ITS Summit 2016 | 23-24 May 2016, Brisbane, Queensland

2 Walk and Cycle Conference | 6-8 July 2016, Auckland, New Zealand

Sixth International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology | 2-5 August 2016, Brisbane, Queensland

IPWEA Sustainability in Public Works Conference 2016 | 24-26 August 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

International Transportation Geotechnics Conference 2016  | 4-7 September 2016, Guimarães, Portugal

2016 Australasian Road Safety Conference 2016 (ARSC2016) 6-8 September 2016, Canberra, ACT

23rd ITS World Congress Melbourne 2016 | 10-14 October 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

Construction Materials Industry Conference 2016 (CMIC16​) | 26-28 October 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

38th Australasian Transport Research Forum 16-18 November 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

27th ARRB Conference | 16-18 November 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

10th Austroads Bridge Conference: ABC2017 | 3-6 April 2017, Melbourne, Victoria