The (new) meaning of PBS Level 1 road access
A not-so-subtle change has crept into PBS with the introduction of the Heavy Vehicle National Law, and the deathly silence around it is staggering. According to the PBS Network Classification Guidelines approved by Ministers in 2007, Level 1 road access means General Access, “subject to a 50 tonne gross mass limit, posted local restrictions and restrictions or limitations specified by the jurisdiction.” Where it was once commonplace for state road authorities to grant such General Access to approved Level 1 combinations, the new law has them hogtied, legally able to approve access only to the “PBS Level 1 network” comprised of state-owned arterial roads.
“Where it was once commonplace for state road authorities to grant such General Access to approved Level 1 combinations, the new law has them hogtied…”
And despite cries from road authorities for a way around this, the NHVR has been unable to offer any legal solutions other than seeking pre-approval from every local council for each road under their management. A look at the PBS Level 1 network map on the VicRoads website reveals a frighteningly sparse network that isn’t within a bull’s roar of General Access. Only a handful of regional councils have so far pre-approved their roads for addition to the network. It’s understood VicRoads is working on a batch of approved local roads to add to the map, and more are being approved every week. But new PBS operators need to be mindful of this potentially catastrophic trap for the time being.