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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.

The Pedestrian Experience literature review

Published: | Category: Walking & cycling , Guidance for specialists , Research & reports | Audience: Local & regional government

The question of pedestrian experience is an important one, as it can help to shape the streets in a way that will encourage more people to enjoy them as pedestrians. The purpose of this literature review is to bring together a disparate literature on pedestrians to consider: who walks, why (and why not) they walk, where they walk, and their attitudes and beliefs to walking. Most importantly, this review will consider how these different facets shape their experience as pedestrians. Inconsistencies in the literature and research gaps are also highlighted in this review.

Research Report 648 A pilot study to determine the relative value of non-market transport impacts of investment

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

This research project examined whether a single new survey, and analysis of the data, could be used to obtain robust values for the monetary value of statistical life, prevented injuries, travel time savings, trip reliability and congestion. A review of approaches used elsewhere was followed by the design of a choice modelling survey and two rounds of initial testing. This was used to develop a pilot survey with an efficient experimental design, and implemented online and face-to-face with 72 people. The data was analysed to produce statistically significant values for all parameters. This suggests it is worthwhile proceeding with the design and implementation of a full survey with more participants. The survey described in this report, with the suggested changes, would be a suitable basis for such a survey and analysis. Keywords: choice modelling, non-market valuation, reliability, survey design, value of statistical life, value of time.

Research Report 653 Extension of NZ Transport Agency Research Report 629: System dynamics investigation of freight flows, economic development and network performance

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: Heavy vehicle operators, Road traffic engineers & consultants

In 2017 we developed a system dynamics model to study inter-regional freight and traffic flows in the Auckland–Hamilton–Tauranga triangle. Here we extend the model northward to Whangarei in order to incorporate Northport. This enables us to provide an order of magnitude estimate of how many truck movements might be required to transport freight between Auckland and Northport, if most or all of the exports and imports that currently pass through Ports of Auckland were to enter and leave New Zealand via Northport instead.  

Excluding the ALPURT to Wiri route, our results suggest that although there is probably enough road space per se to accommodate the extra trucks without significantly affecting travel times, their lower average speed would reduce the speed of other vehicles – and thus increase travel times – if there are insufficient opportunities for overtaking.

Research Report 650 Understanding current and forecast visitor flows to the South Island

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

Data is required for destination management, both of current visitor activity and future activity. This report reviews the data that currently exists for visits to the South Island of New Zealand, where tourism growth has been, and is still expected to be, strong. Not surprisingly no one dataset was found that could reasonably describe visitor activity, nor were there forecasts for core visitor activities across each region of the South Island. Methods were tested to show how currently available data, including an International Visitor Survey and a measure of electronic card spending, could be adjusted to derive measures of visitor presence. A three-part visitor flows model was presented that could be used to derive estimates of visitor flows between and within regions.

New Zealand trauma system review

Published: | Category: Guidance for specialists , Research & reports | Audiences: Local & regional government, Medical practitioners, Road controlling authorities, Road traffic engineers & consultants

This report is a result of a review that the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons undertook of New Zealand’s trauma system. The intent of this piece of work is to inform the review of the national Road Safety Strategy.  

An important note for the reader

The NZ Transport Agency is a Crown entity established under the Land Transport Management Act 2003. The objective of the Agency is to undertake its functions in a way that contributes to an efficient, effective and safe land transport system in the public interest. Each year, the NZ Transport Agency funds innovative and relevant research that contributes to this objective.  

The views expressed in research reports are the outcomes of the independent research, and should not be regarded as being the opinion or responsibility of the NZ Transport Agency.