Mrs Meredith Liddle; Torill Pape, Director (Structures Design, Review and Standards), TMR; and Miquel Nadal, iRAP Board Chairman
The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) has proudly announced the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Australia as a Finalist for the iRAP Gary Liddle Memorial Trophy in Prague today, presented to the world’s best performing road authority eliminating high-risk roads.
The new and perpetual iRAP trophy honours the lifelong public-sector and transport contribution of the charity’s former Board Chairman Gary Liddle AO who passed away earlier this year.
TMR has been using the globally recognised iRAP Methodology to improve the safety of Queensland’s Bruce Highway, previously identified as one of the most hazardous highways in Australia.
Evidence-based safety improvements delivered in an AUD$350 million works package have halved fatalities and serious injuries (FSIs) on the network and led to the development of an innovative and now globally adopted Wide Centre Line Treatment (WCLT). The WCLT is now a mandatory requirement on all new and upgraded rural roads with volumes over 4,000 vehicles per day on TMR’s 33,000km network.
In announcing the finalists, iRAP CEO Rob McInerney said, “The calibre of nominations this year was very high and the judges have recognised TMR’s large, long-term and high-impact investment program on the Bruce Highway with 3-star or better road upgrades completed and impressive Star Rating improvements and FSI reductions achieved. Monitoring and evaluation has provided evidence-based analysis of the program’s effectiveness, spurring additional life-saving investment and feedback into Queensland-wide investment and the iRAP models for the global benefit of all partners.”
Dennis Walsh, Chief Engineer at TMR said, “We are very proud to receive this international recognition for our extensive work over five years to improve safety on the Bruce Highway, our major freight and commuter corridor from Brisbane to Cairns. iRAP Star Rating assessments have helped us understand the level of risk ‘built in’ to the highway infrastructure, develop Safer Roads Investment Plans to inform evidence-based safety upgrades and provide the before and after Star Rating metrics to measure success. The investments are now saving lives and preventing serious injuries every day.”
From 2008 to 2011, crashes on the Bruce Highway accounted for more than 17 per cent of Australian highway deaths though the highway accounted for only 7.5 per cent of the national network. In 2012 alone, road crashes on the 1,670km stretch cost the Queensland community over AUD$800 million.
The Bruce Highway Safety Package (BHSP) was developed by TMR as part of a joint $13 billion commitment by the Australian and Queensland governments. The iRAP methodology is at its heart an evidence-based and independent evaluation framework to guide and measure implementation success.
iRAP’s Star Rating Methodology provides a simple and objective measure of the level of safety that is ‘built-in’ to the road for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Tranche 1 of the BHSP began construction in 2013/14 and was completed in 2018/19. Infrastructure works included the installation of WCLT, audio-tactile line marking, channelised right turn lanes and road safety barriers, with significant road safety benefit.
From 2013 to 2018 there was a 46 per cent increase in the road length rated 3-star or better and the proportion of travel on 3-star or better sections increased from 63.5 to 75.7 per cent.
Fatal crashes were reduced by 48.8 per cent and it was found that sites that received the Wide Centre Line Treatment recorded an FSI crash reduction of 20 per cent as well as a reduction in muti-vehicle, head-on and run-off road crashes by 46.4, 45.9 and 26.1 per cent respectively.
BHSP Tranche 1 was completed in 2018-19 and is the first of three tranches in the $13 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, expected to be completed in 2027-28.
The iRAP Gary Liddle Memorial Trophy winner was presented on Thursday 5 October during the iRAP Innovation Workshop, an official side event of the XXVIIth World Road Congress being held from 2-6 October at Prague Congress Centre, Czech Republic.
For more information:
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Judy Williams, Global Programme and Communications Manager
Mob: +61 400 782 204
TMR Media Unit
Tel: +61 (0)7 3066 7060
About Gary Liddle and the Memorial Trophy
Gary Liddle was a deeply respected transport industry leader, volunteer Trustee of the iRAP charity for nine years and Chair of the iRAP Board from 2017-2022. Prior to his passing with MND in 2023, his leadership and wisdom helped grow the charity’s impact to the point where more than 400,000 deaths and injuries had been saved by partners worldwide. Gary served the transport industry for more than 40 years. In that time, as well as supporting iRAP, he occupied senior leadership positions in the Australian road sector, including as Chief Executive of VicRoads, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (Vic), Chair of ARRB, Chair of Austroads and Chair of iMOVE, Board Member of Roads Australia and governing roles in both PIARC and REAAA. In 2017, Gary was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to public administration in the Victorian transport sector through leadership in policy direction, infrastructure development, road safety and regulatory reform.” He was a strong and steadfast leader, generous and supportive mentor and committed advocate for road safety. Given his lifelong contribution to the public-sector and transport, iRAP is honouring Gary’s legacy with the Gary Liddle Memorial Trophy that will be awarded annually. Nominations are open to any national, state or local road authority in the world that has utilised the iRAP methodology and/or tools to make their roads safer and communities more liveable. Infrastructure safety programs/activities and associated evaluations must have been completed within the last 5 years. The award recognises life-saving impact, leadership in governance and public service, relevance, innovation, sustainability, collaboration and transferability to other jurisdictions.
About the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR)
The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is a department of the Queensland State Government in Australia. It plans, manages and delivers Queensland’s integrated transport environment to achieve sustainable transport solutions for the 33,000 km state road network as well as rail, air and sea. Its integrated transport planning approach moves and connects people, places, goods and services safely, efficiently and effectively to contribute to people’s quality of life, Queensland’s economic wellbeing, and a sustainable environment.
About the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP)
iRAP is a registered charity with a vision for a world free of high-risk roads, influencing road infrastructure safety in more than 170 countries. iRAP and its partners work with the United Nations, World Health Organisation, governments, development banks, mobility clubs, industry, road safety NGOs and research organisations to provide evidence-based tools, training and support to help them make their roads safe. iRAP’s road safety Star Rating Methodology is free to use and provides a simple and objective measure of the level of safety which is ‘built-in’ to the road for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. A 1-star road is the least safe and a 5-star road is the safest. iRAP works with partners to: inspect high-risk roads and develop Star Ratings, Risk Maps and Safer Roads Investment Plans; provide training, tools, and support that will build and sustain national, regional, and local capability; and track road safety performance so that funding agencies can assess the life-saving and economic benefits of their investments. iRAP and its partners have Star Rated nearly 1.5 million kilometres of roads and designs, and 1,229 schools, influencing the safety of USD$100 billion of infrastructure investment. Nearly 1.8 million km have been risk mapped and over 63,350 people have been trained globally. iRAP Safety Insights Explorer (https://irap.org/safety-insights-explorer/) sheds a light on the human and economic impact of road crashes, how safe our roads are, and the Business Case for Safer Roads in countries and the world.