Research and Guidelines
The Research and Guidelines Steering Group has the task to ensure that industry research and development of guidelines relating to road asset ownership are applicable and deliver best practice into the hands of practitioners. Current topics include establishing a working group on planning for, and funding, the cost impact of forestry harvesting on low volume roads. Continuing topics include supporting Glyphosate resistance research, supporting research on issues around mobility scooters, steering a new working group on cycle signage and markings, and wider sector representation.
The Group has three key result areas:
- Review and update user requirements;
- Prioritise and manage development of research and guidelines; and
- Improve use of RCA Forum meetings and best practice guidelines by practitioners.
The group comprises representatives from the stakeholders of the RCA Forum and the convenors of the current working groups. The Steering Group convenor is Murray Hasler of Gore District Council (contact at firstname.lastname@example.org). The other members are: Peter Bailey of Porirua City Council, Fiona Vessey of Matamata-Piako District Council, Kaye Clark and Fergus Tate of the New Zealand Transport Agency, Fiona Knight, of Cresmere Consulting and convenor of the National Stock Effluent Working Group, and Wayne Newman, also of Cresmere Consulting and co-convenor of the National Cycling Signs and Markings Working Group. Bill Greenwood, also of the New Zealand Transport Agency and convenor of the National Level Crossings Working Group, has been a long-serving and tireless member of the Steering Group and retires in June 2014.
Wayne Newman is the administrator of the Steering Group (contact at email@example.com).
The Group provides regular update reports or presentations to the RCA Forum. These reports are included in the reports of each Forum meeting, but copies of briefing notes for recent reports are available below. See also the Group's Meetings page.
- Current Topics
The Group is supporting and contributing to research being led by the Foundation for Arable Research to prevent the development of glyphosate resistance within weed species within New Zealand. Glyphosate is better known as "Roundup", but is the basis for the most commonly-used herbicides currently used in New Zealand. The development of resistance, as has occurred in Australia and many other countries, would impose substantial extra costs on arable agriculture, horticulture and viticulture, as well as every organisation currently controlling weed or vegetation growth here.
This is no longer a question of potential risk. Glyphosate resistance has been confirmed in New Zealand now. It is more important than ever now that road asset managers have in place appropriate protocols for monitoring roadside spraying and reporting incidences of apparent failure of spray treatments, and for rotating treatments. Read Glyphosate resistance matters for roading managers or additional information on the glyphosate resistance research project or background information on glyphosate.
A new working group has been established to look at best practice for indicating cycle lanes, current signage and markings for cycles-only and shared lanes, and nationally consistant treatment of signage and markings. Go to Cycling Markings page.
While cycling is one aspect of the need for modern road design to take into account a wider range of personal transport modes than has been necessary traditionally, another aspect of this same issue is the increasing usage of mobility scooters on roads and footpaths. The Group has begun to investigate this issue and expects to continue to follow research around the potential effects of an aging population turning increasingly to alternative forms of personal mobility device. See literature review on mobility scooters.
The Group is also working to coordinate sector representation on steering and working groups set up by other agencies. The role of steering group members is to provide a contact for sector input, review and comment on draft documents and review final documents to ensure all comments have been addressed. With increasing restrictions on travel, attendance at meetings and workshops is increasingly by teleconference or video-conference wherever possible. Some budget assistance may be available from the Workgroup research and development budget for participation in workshops.
Sector challenges and research proposals for 2014-15 NZTA Research Programme
On 4 Sept. 2013 a request for feedback on challenges facing the sector was circulated widely as part of the preparation of the 2014-15 NZTA Research Programme. Members were asked to return completed 'sector challenge forms' by 20 September and 18 completed forms were received and passed to NZTA. These identified 18 sector challenges, 16 potential areas of useful research and two areas where further guidance could assist the sector. See list of sector challenges.
- Meetings & Workshops