Heavy vehicle trial to test road user charges

The first in a series of on-road trials begins this month to test potential direct road user charging options for heavy vehicles.

The trial will use mock invoices generated by on-board technology to measure the distances traveled by around 111 heavy vehicles.

Federal Government and industry have partnered for the trial which will test potential alternatives to direct road user charging, which helps to fund road infrastructure. The trial will then help to inform decisions on the Federal Government’s Heavy Vehicle Road Reforms.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said that no decisions on changes to road charges have been made yet.

He says the Government will continue to progress on reforms to improve infrastructure investment, while testing options to replace heavy vehicle registrations fees and fuel-based charges.

“The heavy vehicle on-road trials will be delivered as part of broader Heavy Vehicle Road Reform, which is about creating stronger links between road usage, charges and services for road users,” Mr. McCormack said.

“Decisions to implement a new way of collecting heavy vehicle charges may be part of a potential future stage of Heavy Vehicle Road Reform. These decisions are likely to be a number years away and will take on board the real-life experience of industry following a full evaluation of the trials,” Mr. McCormack said.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the initial Small Scale On-Road Trial will not involve payments of charges.

“The trial will involve partnerships with up to 11 heavy vehicle operators of various sizes, totalling up to 111 vehicles,” Mr. Buchholz said.

Planning is also underway for a large scale on-road trial which will take place in 2020. Up to 100 businesses and 1,000 heavy vehicles are expected to be involved. This will also not involve payment of charges and will test a wider range of alternatives.

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