New modelling framework for high productivity vehicles

Austroads has released a report which examines the impact of Performance Based Standard (PBS) 2B vehicles accessing metropolitan roads.

PBS 2B vehicles are high productivity freight vehicles with a maximum length of 30m.

These vehicles present opportunities to reduce freight transport costs, however their access to metropolitan roads is constrained, which limits their take-up and potential benefits.

To expand PBS 2B access on metropolitan roads it is important to understand how they affect performance in a network characterised by congested stop-start operation, constrained queue storage and turning spaces, and the presence of vulnerable road users.

A review of research identified risks in exacerbating congestion delay, crash risks to vulnerable road users and degradation of amenity.

According to the report, the benefits of PBS 2B vehicles are evident in the reduction in vehicle operating and environmental costs (i.e. emissions).

The vehicles are also potentially safer compared to alternative trucks based on historical vehicle-to-vehicle crash rates.

The report proposes a microsimulation modelling framework to help understand the operational impacts of granting access.

Experiments were conducted to examine how access could impact on metropolitan network performance using King Georges Road in Sydney and typical motorway segment as case studies.

The report recommends that:

  • Further research be undertaken on the safety and amenity impacts
  • Guidance on addressing operational, safety and amenity impacts of PBS 2B access be developed
  • The findings be considered for the Restricted Access Vehicle Route Assessment Tool
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