Higher productivity vehicles have now been given access to a key freight route in NSW’s north-western region.
The Kamilaroi Highway, which runs through one of the state’s agricultural epicentres, has now opened up to 30-metre Performance Based Standard (PBS) Level 2B vehicles.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said that up until now, 26 to 30-metre-long vehicles weren’t permitted to along this route due to two rail level crossings at Werris Creek and Curlewis. This added 50 kilometres to the journey.
“These two rail level crossings were the only thing standing in the way of end-to-end access for safer, more efficient and sustainable heavy vehicles,” Farraway said.
The Kamilaroi Highway is 605 kilometre stretch that connects the Hunter Valley to the outback NSW town of Bourke.
The change is expected to save drivers of these higher productivity vehicles around an hour when travelling along the Kamilaroi Highway.
“Allowing longer, more productive heavy vehicles on the Kamilaroi Highway, without compromising on safety, ultimately means fewer heavy vehicles on the road, which is good for everyone.”
Farraway also commented on the importance of the Performance-Based Standards (PBS) scheme. “It is an opportunity to innovate with vehicle design and road management to greatly enhance productivity, improve safety performance while minimising impacts on the environment and road infrastructure.”
Transport For NSW added that, in addition to safety and productivity, there are also long-term benefits to this new assessment method for assessing rail level crossings including significant savings when applied more broadly to assess the need to upgrade existing rail level crossings.