Austroads: Transport Research and Trends

Austroads: Transport Research and Trends header image 1

Paving our ways

Watch Now:

This webinar presents a book “Paving Our Ways”, which references Austroads’ research and provides a comprehensive international history of the world’s pavements, running from the earliest human settlements to the present day. No previous book has covered such a broad canvass.

The book is written for general and technically oriented readers, tracing the human and social aspects of pavement development and use and providing detailed technical background. It also caters to students of engineering and transport wishing to broaden their knowledge of their profession or taking a course in the history and sociology of engineering.

“Paving Our Ways” provides interesting and curious asides about the stranger aspects of pavements. It explores the controversies surrounding the development of macadam pavements and, later, of asphalt pavements in a way that provides many insights into modern pavements. It also examines the subsequent competition between pavements using bituminous or cementitious binders.

The book covers three major time zones. The first is from the times of the Egyptian pharaohs to the end of the Roman era, the second is from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the First World War during which people like Tresaguet, Telford and McAdam had major impacts, and the third is from the end of the First World War to the present time when motorised trucks and machinery dramatically changed the way the pavements were made and used.

Looking back on the way current pavement technologies evolved, the authors of the book Maxwell Lay, formerly Director ConnectEast and Australian Road Research Board, John Metcalf, Formerly Louisiana State University, USA and Kieran Sharp, Road Eng. Assoc. of Asia and Australasia show how Australian practice relates to international practice.

Austroads Technical Specifications for Roadworks and Bridgeworks

Watch Now:

Currently, most Austroads member agencies rely on their unique technical specifications for the delivery of roadworks and bridge projects. In many cases, these specifications have been developed over a number of years in consultation with local industry and suppliers.

While it is recognised that there will always be some requirements that will only apply to a single jurisdiction, standardising specifications (and the associated test methods) has the potential to improve work processes for road agencies, suppliers and contractors.

To increase efficiency for road agencies and industry and optimise compliance with contract requirements, 14 technical specifications have been published for all Austroads member agencies to use for the construction of roadworks and bridgeworks. These specifications are suitable for use with any general conditions of contract, including design and construct contracts. They are expected to be used in conjunction with supplementary local or contract specific requirements.

This webinar, presented by Richard Edwards, takes participants through the technical specifications development process and provides an overview of the structure and layout adopted for the specifications.

Network Operation Planning: Case Studies and Capability Building

Watch Now:

Network operation planning aims to guide the day-to-day operation and development of the road network. These management activities are regularly completed and documented through the development of Network Operation Plans (NOPs), which link policy objectives while managing competing transport and land use priorities. This intent of NOPs is generally agreed, but the way and level of application varies across the jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand. The recent adoption of the Movement and Place (M&P) Framework in most of these jurisdictions has also influenced NOPs.

Austroads has led a review to understand current NOP practices and provide material to build capabilities in state and local government agencies to increase NOP use and implementation. The approach to increase NOP use and application consisted of a review of relevant literature, five case studies in four jurisdictions and a detailed review of the Network Fit Assessment Tool. There was also engagement with state transport agencies.

The project has produced an online Reference Material Library to help those looking to develop or evolve NOP processes.

The webinar, presented by Andrew Somers, Will Fooks and Alex Blackett, covers:

  • an overview of the activities undertaken as part of this project.
  • a summary of the takeaways from the review of current practices.
  • an introduction to the Online Library.

Revision of Austroads Guide to Road Tunnels Part 2: Planning, Design and Commissioning

Watch Now:

This webinar, presented by Les Louis, Lauren Thompson and Dr Richard Yeo, informs practitioners about the updates made to Part 2 of the Guide to Road Tunnels in 2021 and the reasons for those changes. Every section of Part 2 is addressed to show what changes have been made. More detail is provided about the new sections of the document, highlighting the most significant material added to the document in the section on Systems Engineering.

The overall changes brought about by recent research and developments, and those caused by revisions of the other parts of the guide as well as the addition of Part 4 are also addressed.

Engineering Guideline to Bridge Asset Management

Watch Now:

The Engineering Guideline to Bridge Asset Management was developed to provide specific asset management guidance for road bridges. The guideline promotes an engineering approach (engineering principles, knowledge, experience and modelling tools) as being the only robust method for understanding the current and future, condition and needs of a bridge network.

The guideline defines best practice asset management for bridges over their lifecycle in a manner that will provide a transparent link between investment and outcomes. It includes a specific and detailed asset management framework for bridges.

This webinar, presented by Barry Wright, Torill Pape and Peter Shaw, takes participants through the development of the guideline and provides an overview of the key principles and learnings contained in the guideline.

Improved Traffic Management Guidance: On-Road Public Transport Priority Tool

Watch Now:

On-road public transport (ORPT) priority treatments improve public transport’s level of service increasing reliability and travel time benefits for users.

Austroads has developed a practical process (referred to as a ‘tool’) to guide practitioners through the selection of the appropriate ORPT priority treatments for any road scenario. The tool is documented in the 2020 Austroads report AP-R645-20 On-Road Public Transport Priority Tool.

This webinar, presented by David Green and Graham McCabe, provides an overview of the tool explaining how it was developed and how practitioners may use the tool in their day-to-day work.

Improved Traffic Management Guidance: Freeway Capacity Analysis

Watch Now:

Austroads’ report Improved Traffic Management Guidance: Freeway Capacity Analysis reviews the latest research and practices in freeway capacity analysis and makes recommendations for updating Austroads FCA guidance.

This webinar with Paul Bennett and Graham McCabe presents the research and findings outlined in the report, including the consultations with practitioners from across Australia and New Zealand, the comparative study of different capacity analysis methodologies and the recommendations made for updating Austroads FCA guidance.

The presentation slides can be downloaded from the supporting documents tab after logging in.

Effectiveness and Implementation of Raised Safety Platforms

Watch Now:

Raised Safety Platforms (RSPs) are a vertical deflection device increasingly used to reduce the maximum comfortable operating speed for vehicles to Safe System collision speeds, particularly at intersections. While the use of vertical deflection devices has typically been limited to lower speed environments, there is increasing interest in the use of RSPs in higher speed environments and for other locations where pedestrians and cyclists would typically be injured.

The purpose of Austroads’ research report ‘Effectiveness and Implementation of Raised Safety Platforms’ was to provide clarity around the design and operation of RSPs and deepen the understanding of leading international practice across a range of applications and performance dimensions. The research included a review of literature, sample investigations and edits to relevant Austroads guides. The literature has shown that, outside of the Netherlands, where RSPs have been used extensively, a ‘community of practice’ is developing in Australia and New Zealand, with the majority of applications at signalised intersections above 50 km/h to date being in Victoria. There is evidence that RSPs are a promising road safety countermeasure.

In this webinar Fabian Marsh, Hamish Mackie and Rebekah Thorne outline the research approach and the key findings from the information review and sample investigations that have implications for future practice.

Pedestrian Planning and Design for Residential Areas

Watch Now:

This webinar, presented by Ann-Marie Head and Jeanette Ward, focuses on the planning and design considerations for walkable residential neighbourhoods, both new and existing, and where to find that guidance in Austroads’ guides.

The webinar covers the following key topics:

  • what data to collect
  • planning/network considerations
  • design considerations
  • examples of applying walkable characteristics
  • best practice examples.

This is a final session in the series of webinars held by Austroads to step practitioners through the updated pedestrian planning and design information.

Austroads’ review of the pedestrian planning and design guidance in the Guide to Traffic Management (AGTM) and Guide to Road Design (AGRD) identified a total of 120 planning and design gaps. Recommended changes to the AGTM were published in April 2020 followed by a series of exceptionally popular webinars.

Recommended changes to the AGRD have been reviewed and approved by the Road Design Task Force and will find their way into the AGRD as part of its update and restructure planned by the Road Safety & Design program in FY20-21.

Innovation and Best Practice in Performance Measurement and Transport Outcomes

Watch Now:

‘What gets measured gets managed’ (Drucker, 1954). Performance metrics, indicators and benchmarks describe how our road assets (and transport systems) are functioning and operating within the context of the road users’ (and societal) expectations. This enables agencies and authorities to manage investment and resources to address the areas of greatest need.

Austroads first developed National Performance Indicators (NPIs) in 1993 to promote consistency in reporting of road performance across state transport agencies. Over time, however, the uptake of NPIs has diminished due to a misalignment with state agencies’ own performance reporting needs, concurrently with the advent of new datasets and the increased value that these datasets provide.

This webinar, presented by Simon Latham, Scott Benjamin and Robert Kane, explores the current performance reporting practices used nationally and internationally including the type and application of urban road network performance indicators and metrics. The webinar highlights challenges and opportunities related to existing performance indicators and reporting and discusses the recommendations which look to support consistent and commonly agreed performance indicators (revised NPIs) for urban road-based transport performance measurement.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App