Hugh Dixon, Senior Traffic Engineer in HDS Australia's Victorian Office, recently attended a presentation by the VicRoads Network Standards team concerning the release of the new Traffic Engineering Manual (TEM). The main change in the new Traffic Engineering Manual is that the national documentation (Austroads and Australian Standards) is now the main source of information.
The new manual is divided into 3 volumes, with Volume 1 being supplements to the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management and Volume 2 being supplements to Australian Standards (relating to traffic management). The importance of reading the national documentation alongside the VicRoads documentation was repeatedly emphasised in the VicRoads presentation, demonstrating the importance that the national documentation now holds.
Volume 3 of the new Traffic Engineering Manual is a collection of stand alone "other" documents, which includes things like "Installation of Convex Mirrors on Public Roads" and "Authorisation of Traffic Control Devices" (delegation to Councils). The goal is that the Traffic Engineering Manual will be a single location where all VicRoads information related to Traffic Management can be found.
To assist in the transition process, each of the three volumes have a "Topic Guide" and a transition reference document, designed to assist those who knew their way around the old TEM find the equivalent information in the new TEM.
A couple of other interesting snippets of information from the presentation were that the revision of the speed limit policy is currently ongoing, but something can be expected in early 2016. Also, as content is reviewed, theremay be a move away from a warrant based approache towards a risk assessment approach, using tools such as ANRAM.
The release of the new Traffic Engineering Manual seems to be a step on the path to Australia having a more consistent, national road network. It will hopefully streamline some procedures, as well as introducing efficiencies through economics of scale for companies, such as HDS Australia, which operate in both Victoria and other states.