The Transport Agency has released this proposed amendment Rule, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, for public consultation. Consultation closed on 21 December 2015.
The aim of this proposed amendment Rule is to allow road controlling authorities to issue permits for higher axle loading on all buses. A previous amendment to this rule (which came into effect on 1 October 2015) introduced permits for higher axle masses, but only for high-capacity buses (double-deckers) used on urban public transport routes.
Feedback received by the Transport Agency during the consultation process suggested that the rule amendment should go further and enable permits to be issued for all types of buses regardless of where they are used.
Because this was a much wider change than included in the draft rule, the decision was made to do a second consultation.
Summary of proposal
The proposed amendment to the Rule will:
- replace an existing definition (“high capacity urban bus”) with a wider definition (“passenger service vehicle”) that would include all buses; and
- allow road controlling authorities (RCAs) to issue permits to operators for all buses to exceed the general access (Part A) axle weight limits on defined routes. Before issuing a permit the RCA must consider the safety of the vehicle, the safety of other road users and the suitability of the roads and infrastructure on which the vehicle may operate; and
- clarify that any permits issued under the 2015 amendment remain valid.