Escort trial extended again for bridge girder jobs in Queensland

The long-running trial of alternative escort arrangements for bridge girder movements in Queensland has now been extended until December 18, 2023.

The trial will conclude with the commencement of the Christmas curfew period as described in the Queensland Access Conditions Guide for oversized vehicles.

The trial, being conducted by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), in partnership with the Queensland Police Service (QPS), was originally due to run for only three months.

It replaces the QPS Escorts with a Queensland accredited escorts where supported by an approved Traffic Management Plan.

All permit applications must be submitted by September 30, 2023, to participate in the trial.

“The timeframe will provide sufficient time for TMR and QPS to evaluate the trial outcomes,” said a TMR heavy vehicle unit notice to industry.

Operators wishing to participate in the trial must also apply for a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) access permit.

Trial eligibility

The following conditions must be met to be eligible for participation in the trial:

  • An operator must have a permit issued by the NHVR before the journey commences.
  • The load must consist of bridge girders. No other load types are considered.
  • The oversize combination must not exceed the following dimensions:
    • 47.5m in length
    • 4.2m in width
    • 4.6m in height
    • Prescribed rear overhang (as per legislative requirements)
  • At a minimum, 80 per cent of the entire journey must be on dual carriageway roads with traffic travelling in the same direction.
  • The movement must be accompanied by escorts appointed under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management — Accreditation and Other Provisions) Regulation, Part 2, as an accredited person with the functions of an escort vehicle driver.

How to apply for a permit

When submitting an NHVR permit application (new or amendment), an operator must add the text ‘BRIDGE GIRDER POLICY’ into the permit application nickname field.

Application without the application nickname field text may not be considered for inclusion in the trial.

Traffic Management Plan Requirements

A Traffic Management Plan (TMP) must be submitted at the time of lodging an NHVR permit application.

The TMP aims to identify and mitigate traffic hazards and risks associated with the proposed movement and will assist TMR and QPS in assessing the suitability to participate in the trial.

When submitting the TMP, the operator must ensure they have appropriately addressed (at a minimum) the below considerations:

  • roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the movement,
  • the proposed route,
  • time of day the movements are to take place and identified risks and risk controls,
  • number of movements per day/night,
  • the time delay between each movement,
  • any contra-flow (travel in opposing traffic lanes) travel for extended periods,
  • signalised intersections where signal timing would be an issue,
  • the vehicle swept path analysis to ensure turn manoeuvres will be appropriately managed,
  • management of traffic entering from ramps and side roads adjoining the approved route,
  • safe parking locations,
  • ways to reduce the build-up of traffic,
  • management of the movement in the event of adverse weather,
  • details of the removal and replacement of any roadside furniture required along the route,
  • communication between members of the movement,
  • management of the escort entering the approved route via highway on-ramps merging into designated high-speed zones,
  • incident management.

Any questions regarding the trial should be directed to the TMR heavy vehicle unit at

Operator reporting requirements

Pre movement notification
Weekly schedules of all movements for operators intending to utilise the variation to escorting requirements are to be provided to five days prior to travel.

Post movement reporting
Post movement reporting must be completed for each movement and submitted via an online form no later than midnight of each Sunday for the previous week. The reporting must include:

  • permit number
  • number of trips made during the week including start and finish times
  • any identified safety issues occurring during any movement
  • details of any incidents or near misses, and feedback from escort vehicle drivers.

*Failure to meet the notification or reporting requirements of the temporary variation to escorting arrangement authorisation may result in the revocation of the variation and/or additional requirements being applied to existing permits relating to future movements.

This reporting is in addition to any standard operational documentation and reporting requirements.

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