Heavy Vehicle Rest Stopping Improvements
The objectives of work under way are to:
- assist heavy vehicle drivers using the state road network to comply with national fatigue-management regulations to ensure the safety of themselves and all road users
- reduce the incidence and severity of crashes involving heavy vehicles and/or fatigue on NSW roads
- enable the introduction of safer, more efficient higher productivity road freight vehicles to a wider section of the state road network
- improve freight industry customer satisfaction with the availability and quality of rest areas in NSW
- improve heavy vehicle driver wellbeing through provision of quality amenities to support them carry out their role
- contribute to regional economic prosperity through improved regional freight access.
The importance of rest areas for fatigue management
Heavy vehicle drivers often undertake long hours of travel. The truck, the road and accessible rest areas are their workplace. Fatigue is one of the top three behavioural factors for heavy trucks involved in serious crashes on NSW roads.
From 2013 to 2022*, there were 36 fatigued heavy truck drivers involved in fatal crashes and 223 fatigued heavy truck drivers involved in serious injury crashes.
In addition to complying with regulation relating to driving hours and mandatory rest breaks, truck drivers need rest stops to manage fatigue and personal welfare. Truck drivers use these facilities to rest and access essential services such as toilets, showers and food.
There are over 1,372** heavy vehicle rest stop locations across NSW which are either classified as formal or informal and are managed by different road managers. These sites are often the only opportunity for truck drivers to stop and rest due to access restrictions on heavy vehicles entering the NSW road network.
* Crash data from Transport for NSW Safe System Analytics (SSA) reporting system.
** Figures based on Transport for NSW regional NSW and Greater Sydney heavy vehicle rest stop audits against the Austroads guidelines.
Freight industry engagement
Transport is working in consultation with the freight industry and heavy vehicle drivers to improve heavy vehicle rest areas in NSW.
Formal engagement with the road freight industry between November 2022 and March 2023 highlighted a range of challenges and needs on the current state of the provision of rest stops for heavy vehicle drivers in NSW including:
- capacity issues at existing rest stops
- lack of access to or provisions of basic amenities and maintenance quality
- design of rest stops need to be fit for purpose to meet industry needs
- more heavy vehicle rest stops are required
- changing industry practices including the uptake of higher productivity vehicles, decoupling and shuttling.
The Heavy Vehicle Rest Stop Stakeholder Engagement Report provides an overview of consultation and the resulting feedback.
More information about this engagement is available on the Have Your Say portal.
Western Sydney Heavy Vehicle Rest Area – to inform the development of a new heavy vehicle rest area proposed for Western Sydney, Transport for NSW asked the road freight industry about rest area needs in Greater Sydney, location preferences, pay-to-use models, and considerations for oversize, overmass and dangerous goods. Engagement was completed between 1 September and 15 October, 2023.
Transport for NSW is currently reviewing and considering the feedback and will prepare an engagement report to share insights gathered during the engagement.
More information about this project is available on the Have Your Say portal.
Heavy Vehicle Rest Stop improvement projects
Western Sydney Heavy Vehicle Rest Area proposal
The NSW Government is planning a new heavy vehicle rest area in Western Sydney to support driver wellbeing and fatigue management. Currently in the early scoping phase, feedback from the road freight industry during engagement completed between September and October 2023 will inform the design, features and location options during project development. For more information on this engagement, please visit the Western Sydney Heavy Vehicle Rest Area webpage.
Mundoonan Rest Area expansion, Jerrawa
The Australian and NSW governments are jointly funding a $5.2 million upgrade to the existing Mundanoon northbound rest area on the Hume Highway. The upgrade includes the reconfiguration of the parking area to accommodate higher productivity vehicles, new footpaths, drainage upgrades and relocation of an amenity shed. Once complete, the rest area will accommodate up to 10 A-Double vehicles. Expected completion 2025.
Barton Highway rest area replacement, Murrumbateman
Transport for NSW is progressively upgrading the Barton Highway to a dual carriageway between the ACT border and Murrumbateman.
Existing northbound heavy vehicle parking area at the ACT border and Wattle Flat have been removed to enable work to progress. Stage 2 proposes to replace both northbound sites with a single formal heavy vehicle rest area. Stage 2 is in development with construction expected to start in 2025.
For more information, please visit the Barton Highway Corridor Upgrade – Stage 2 project page.
Newell Highway: Heavy Duty Pavement Upgrade – Narrabri to Moree
As part of Stage 1 works a formal stopping facility is planned approximately 12 kilometres north of Narrabri and will have northbound and southbound access, parking for up to 20 heavy vehicles, separate parking for 10 light vehicles and multiple caravans. It will also include toilets, lighting, picnic shelters, landscaping and rubbish bins.
For more information, please visit the Newell Highway: Heavy Duty Pavement Upgrade – Narrabri to Moree project page.
HVRS Improvement Program for Regional NSW
Transport is developing a Heavy Vehicle Rest Stop Improvement Program Strategic Business Case to improve the heavy vehicle rest stopping across the regional State Road Network.
The program is informed by an audit of existing formal heavy vehicle rest stops against the Austroads Guidelines for the Provision of Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Facilities. The results of the audit identified:
- 486 potential new rest stops
- 356 potential upgrades to existing rest stops.
The Strategic Business Case will support funding requests to develop a program of priority heavy vehicle rest area locations in regional NSW incorporating industry feedback received during the engagement period.
The program is included on the Infrastructure Priority List
Heavy Vehicle Rest Stop Signage trial
Transport is undertaking a trial of a treatment to deter light vehicles parking in heavy vehicle parking bays. Using surveillance with CCTV to monitor effectiveness, the trial will test use of the signage in deterring other vehicles from parking in spaces designated for allowing heavy vehicle truck drivers to park and rest. It will also provide insights into driver behaviour to inform other potential treatments and initiatives. The trial is not reliant on enforcement of the signage by Council or NSW Police.
Find out more about the Heavy Vehicle Rest Stop Signage trial here.
Greater Sydney Rest Stop Gap Analysis
Transport is completing a review of heavy vehicle rest stops in Greater Sydney to identify gaps and parking capacity shortfalls along the State Road Network.
This audit will guide future planning, investment and prioritisation for improvements within the Greater Sydney area.
Be Freight Fit
The Be Freight Fit pilot aims to provide heavy vehicle drivers with an opportunity to manage their rest and break times in a way that promotes improved health and wellbeing. By introducing outdoor fitness equipment at heavy vehicle rest stops, Transport aims to support the road freight industry deliver positive outcomes for its workforce. Clybucca north and south bound rest stops on the Pacific Highway (north of Kempsey) have been selected as the pilot sites.
For more information, please visit the visit the Be Freight Fit webpage.
Highway Service Centre partnerships
Transport has entered commercial partnerships with industry to develop highway service centres on land owned by Transport.
As part of the contractual agreement, the proponent must fulfil service requirements including a minimum number of heavy vehicle parking bays and shower and toilet amenities at the highway service centre.
New and upgrades to highway service centres recently completed:
- Pacific Highway at Nambucca Heads
- Pacific Highway at Ballina
- Pheasants Nest Highway Service Centre, Hume Highway upgrade - completed in December 2023 the upgrade featured separate parking for light and heavy vehicles including OSOM parking, separate caravan and bus parking areas, a VC Memorial dedication area and updates to retail options.
Development and delivery of significant upgrades are currently underway at the following Highway Service Centre(s):
- Eastern Creek M4 Motorway - the upgrade will deliver separate parking for light and heavy vehicles including separate caravan and bus parking areas, and updates to retail options.
Transport has completed improvements to heavy vehicle rest areas at:
- Willy Wally, Golden Highway
- Cassillis Park, Golden Highway
- Kennedys Gap, Pacific Highway
- Chapmans northbound, Pacific Highway
- Coolongolook Ampol northbound and southbound, Pacific Highway
- Westwood rest area – shelter, concreting, drainage and access improvements.