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Research Report 547 Fatigue design criteria for road bridges in New Zealand

Published: | Category: Activity management , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Road bridges are subjected to millions of cycles of heavy vehicle loading over their design lives, and the introduction of higher vehicle mass limits on New Zealand roads will significantly increase the rates of fatigue damage in bridge superstructures. The NZ Transport Agency's Bridge manual has relied on British and Australian standards for fatigue design criteria, and the aim of this project was to provide the basis for amended fatigue loadings based on New Zealand heavy vehicle characteristics, with allowances for forecast long-term growth in volumes and vehicle masses. The base fatigue loading was derived from analyses of effects on bridge spans of heavy vehicles recorded at weigh-in-motion sites between 2007 and 2011. The base fatigue loading was then adjusted for increases in legal vehicle masses permitted under a 2010 Land Transport Rule amendment (introducing HPMV – high productivity motor vehicles).

Research Report 544 New Zealanders attitudes towards drug-driving and suggested countermeasures

Published: | Category: Safety, security and public health , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This study conducted in New Zealand in 2012 investigated the attitudes, prevalence, habits and self-reported risks associated with drug-driving, along with possible countermeasures. Telephone and internet surveys were used for a general population sample. Face-to-face interviews, mainly in prisons, surveyed habitual users of four main drug types: alcohol and other drugs, cannabis, methamphetamine and benzodiazepine. Alcohol was the main substance used before driving, followed by alcohol and cannabis together and cannabis alone. Nearly half the general population respondents had driven after taking drugs or alcohol and a sizable proportion after taking drugs other than alcohol. Many respondents in the face-to-face group said they took risks when driving. Only a third had a full licence despite driving for more than 10 years. The majority had been involved in a crash, more than half being at fault.

Research Report 659 Urban transport modelling in New Zealand – data, practice and resourcing

Published: | Category: Economic prosperity , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Household Travel Survey data is an essential component of building a transportation model. The New Zealand Ministry of Transport (MOT) has recently embarked on a rolling programme of annual surveys. This research project confirmed that, with some changes, the data collected in the surveys was adequate to build existing model forms currently being used and would be suitable if tour-based or activity-based transportation models were to be built in the future, noting that sample sizes in the MOT survey would need augmenting for this purpose.  

As part of the project a stocktake of current models was undertaken, as was a short survey of the public sector transport modelling resource in New Zealand. The study concludes with suggestions for topics of future research. Keywords: household interview, transport models, travel behaviour

Erratum - 8 October 2019
Table 2. 6 page 17 and tables 2. 8 and 2.

Research Report 660 Factors affecting cycling levels of service

Published: | Category: Inclusive access , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: General, Walkers & cyclists

This report examines cyclists’ perceptions of cycle infrastructure levels of service and proposes an assessment methodology for evaluating the level of service provided by cycling facilities. First, a range of methodologies for evaluation cycling levels of service are described. These are diverse in both their approach and foundations, ranging from tools that are based exclusively upon expert opinion and judgement, to those that rely on user perceptions of infrastructure quality. The latter is an ongoing field of research that seeks to understand what is most important to the cyclists who ride on the infrastructure we build, and to those contemplating doing so.

Research report 657 Human factor considerations for a licensing point system

Published: | Category: Health and safe people , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The NZ Transport Agency sought to better understand how licensing point systems (LPSs) operate, including how different population groups respond to LPSs

A literature review provided a theoretical background for understanding the functions of LPSs and factors that may influence LPS effectiveness. The LPSs that exist worldwide were studied to identify the features of a ‘best-practice’ system. The Transport Agency offence data for all New Zealand-licensed drivers from 2005 to 2014 was analysed to explore how individuals and cohort drivers respond to licensing points, and to identify factors that impact on the likelihood of multiple offending. An on-line survey of a representative sample of 999 New Zealand adult car-licence holders and focus groups with four key road-user groups (young novice drivers, Māori drivers, professional drivers and motor cyclists) were conducted to investigate knowledge of, and attitude toward, the LPS, as well as acceptability of possible refinements.

Research Report 658 Testing New Zealand vehicles to measure real-world fuel use and exhaust emissions

Published: | Category: Environmental sustainability , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The purpose of the research was to better understand real-world fuel consumption and vehicle exhaust emissions from the New Zealand fleet and use this knowledge to improve the ability of the Transport Agency’s Vehicle Emissions Prediction Model (VEPM) to predict actual emissions.  

A portable emissions monitoring system (PEMS) was developed to measure real-world emissions from a range of typical New Zealand vehicles on a route typical of New Zealand conditions. Testing was undertaken in Auckland between January and May 2018 on six light duty petrol vehicles, 20 light duty diesel vehicles and six heavy duty diesel vehicles, including New Zealand-new and Japanese-used imported vehicles manufactured between 1996 and 2014.  

As expected, our testing found that real-world emissions of most pollutants were higher than regulated standards (up to eight times). The real-world NOX results were comparable to real-world emissions from Europe and Australia for similar vehicles.

Research Report 656 Evidential basis for community response to land transport noise

Published: | Category: Environmental sustainability , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Environmental noise caused by road and rail traffic can cause a range of disturbance and annoyance reactions amongst local communities. The threshold at which individuals will be annoyed by these sources of noise will vary depending on the expectations of the respondent and their sensitivity to noise. A community noise annoyance study was performed in Auckland, New Zealand to determine the noise dose-response relationship based on a comparison of short-term changes in noise compared with existing steady-state conditions. Due to limitations, a revised study design was implemented and three study areas were selected:

subject to transportation noise from an existing state highway
a newly constructed but un-opened road
an existing rail line. A social survey of community response was undertaken within the three study areas.

Research Report 654 Social and distributional impacts of time and space-based road pricing

Published: | Category: Economic prosperity , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report outlines a general framework that can be used to analyse the social and distributional impacts of road pricing in the New Zealand context and applies it to two hypothetical case studies of road pricing schemes in New Zealand cities. This framework attempts to bring together multiple dimensions of social and distributional impacts in a relatively accessible way to describe relevant impacts on households and individuals and communicate them to policy-makers and the public in a way that can inform the design of pricing schemes and mitigation measures. Keywords: equity, road pricing, social and distributional impacts

Research Report 655 Performance benefits of polymer modified bitumen binders for thin surfacings

Published: | Category: Resilience and security , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Research was undertaken at WSP Opus Research in 2018 to investigate evidence from field studies supporting the performance benefits of polymer modified binders (PMBs) in thin asphalt and chipseal road surfacings. Improved performance benefits claimed for the use of PMB modified thin surfacings include reduced rutting and fatigue cracking in dense asphalt, reduced chip loss in chipseals and open graded porous asphalts and reduced flushing in seals.  

The use and specification of PMBs internationally was reviewed and compared with practice in New Zealand. New Zealand follows international practice in that elastomeric polymers (typically SBS, SBR type), at 3–5% concentration are most widely used.

Research Report 652 Assessment process for the condition of unsealed roads

Published: | Category: Resilience and security , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Unsealed roads remain the backbone of the New Zealand’s economy. Less than 40% of local roads in New Zealand are sealed, yet most of New Zealand’s farm produce, important tourism and forestry harvest start their journey to the international market on unsealed roads.  It is therefore essential to plan the investment into this network based on appropriate data. Traditional data collection using visual assessments was not sustainable given the fast-changing nature of unsealed roads. This has left councils not knowing what data to collect on the network, thus necessitating this research project that aimed at developing data collection processes to facilitate better decision making and performance reporting. This report recommends frameworks for decision making at strategic and tactical asset management levels alongside a performance framework consistent with the One Network Road Classification process.
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