Austroads is undertaking an ambitious project to establish a harmonised road asset data standard for use in Australia and New Zealand.
The Data Standard for Road Management and Investment Project has been initiated in response to requests from stakeholders who increasingly need to share data with other road management agencies but are frustrated by the lack of common data standards.
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A business case developed in 2014 shows significant benefits and cost savings can be obtained by road management and governance agencies being able to readily share common data between each other.
Benefits could include improved understanding of road assets, direct savings to agencies for data management and reporting, consistent and comparable data to support better government decision making and supporting new technology and transport innovation.
Road managers include national, state and local government agencies which each collect information to inform their asset management strategies and to determine expenditure priorities. The lack of a harmonised road asset data standards means that each road manager collects similar, yet slightly different, information. The minor but consequential differences in road asset data limit the comparability of asset information between road networks, and increases the costs of working across different road networks.
An example of an area where a common data standard is anticipated to be Heavy Vehicle road reform policy development where more reliable and consistent policy is dependent on having reliable and consistent information about the road network across jurisdictions.
Other types of data to be considered in the project include descriptions and locations of assets, maintenance activities and cost metrics, asset condition and performance and road classification.
Opus International Consultants and GISSA (authors of “A Spec”) were appointed to deliver the first stage of the project which involved extensive research into existing data requirements and current practice.
The second stage of the project is being undertaken by Opus International Consultants.
The third stage to revise the business case supporting implementation of the Standard is currently under development.
Workshop were held in February and March 2016 across Australia and New Zealand to allow practitioners to contribute to the development of the Data Standard for Road Management and Investment.
In April 2016 a further draft of the Standard was released for comment.
In November 2016 the first version of the Standard was published. This first version of the Standard has been prepared to provide information for road managers and the wider road sector.
In December 2016 Austroads released a draft second version of the Standard for comment.
Version 2 of the Standard will be be published in 2017 and will contain additional data fields and be supported with an implementation plan.