New Technical Framework for Temporary Traffic Management

In December 2019 an updated Australian Standard AS1742.3 Traffic Control for works on roads (2019) and the Austroads Guide to Temporary Traffic Management (AGTTM) were released. Together these documents detail the standards for temporary traffic management devices and best practice guidance for their use at road worksites.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has aligned our technical guidance for the Queensland industry to the new national standard and best practice guide. This involved: harmonising the Queensland’s Manual Uniform of Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Part 3 with the national standard AS1742.3 (2019)introducing the Queensland Guide to Temporary Traffic Management (QGTTM) to harmonise with the AGTTM. These documents, which adopt the national guidance and identify some Queensland specific differences, have been released on our website today (30 November 2020). We have noted that whilst many of Queensland’s practices have been adopted in the new national framework, there will still be some differences that your organisation needs to get up to speed with.

Dennis Walsh
Chief Engineer
Engineering and Technology
Department of Transport and Main Roads

What has changed?

In December 2019 Australian Standards released a revised version of AS1742.3, which now only contains principles relating to the devices that are used to control traffic during works on roads. The revised AS1742.3 (2019) is designed to be read in conjunction with the new AGTTM.

The AGTTM is a 10-part document that provides practitioners in all roles across the temporary traffic management industry with comprehensive guidance on the planning, design, installation, operation and management of temporary traffic management sites.

As a result of these changes TMR has updated our technical documents:

  • The Queensland MUTCD Part 3 (2020) will adopt (and not repeat) specifications contained within the AS1742.3.  The MUTCD will detail some variances to the AS1742.3 for use in Queensland.
  • The QGTTM is a new 10-part document which directly aligns to the AGTTM. Each part of the new QGTTM will adopt (but not repeat) the guidance contained within the AGTTM. The QGTTM will details some variances to the practices described in the AGTTM for use in Queensland.
Why are we aligning TMR’s standards?

Temporary traffic management at road worksites is acknowledged as one of the highest risk activities on construction sites.

Although a single national standard has been in existence, a range of legislation, policy, codes of practice, and guides covering temporary traffic management at road worksites are in place across Australian states and territories. This results in inconsistent practices on worksites, makes it difficult for motorists to understand what they should expect when travelling interstate, reduces safety for workers and vulnerable road users and adds to the cost of doing business.

Harmonisation of the MUTCD and introduction of the QGTTM is an opportunity to leverage the best from all systems and minimise the points of difference wherever possible. Our goal is that harmonisation will:

  • increase assurance and protection for your workers and your organisation
  • improve road user experience and encourage greater compliance
  • provide an opportunity for industry to directly influence national standards as they introduce innovative practices to meet specialised needs.
Preparing your organisation for the change

As the Queensland MUTCD Part 3 has been in place for over 10 years, thousands of Queenslanders have developed an in-depth knowledge of the standards and where to get information when it is needed, so this will be a significant change for many people in the industry. Everything you need to get your organisation ready will be available from 1 December 2020.
1.    Get the documents:

  • Purchase a copy of AS1742.3 (2019) from Standards Australia.
  • Download a copy of the AGTTM from Austroads (you will need to create a free account).
  • View the revised MUTCD Part 3 (2020) and QGTTM on TMR’s website.

2.    Build your knowledge

  • Watch the introductory videos provided by Austroads that describe each guide part and how to get the most out of them.
  • Review the new documents and share learnings with your team mates.
  • Watch TMR’s website and your inbox for fact sheets about key technical changes and information about briefings being held in your area.

3.    Make a plan

  • Identify key staff who need to be aware of the changes.
  • Identify supporting business systems and processes that may need to be updated to reflect the changes, such as safety management system procedures, checklists, safe work methods, etc.
  • Develop a plan to update your operational procedures and communicate the changes to your teams.
  • Start using the new standards.

With regard to when you should start using the new standards, please note that:

  • TMR strongly encourages organisations to use the new standards from 1 January 2021, however there will be a seven-month transition period in Queensland before it is mandatory to use them on 1 August 2021.
  • TMR may choose to nominate the use of the new standards prior to 1 August 2021 in cases where a project is being tendered for, but will not commence until after 1 August 2021.
  • Contract managers may choose to adopt the new standards at any time.
Key dates
  • December 2019: Austroads release AGTTM and Australian Standard update AS1742.3
  • 30 November 2020: TMR publishes harmonised MUTCD Part 3 and QGTTM online
  • 1 January to 31 July 2021: Voluntary use of the new standards by Queensland’s traffic management industry
  • 1 August 2021: Mandatory use of the new standards on all roads in Queensland (TMR and non-TMR roads).
For more information

Email tmharmonisation@tmr.qld.gov.au to subscribe to TMR’s Temporary Traffic Management newsletter  which provides regular updates on the harmonisation process

Email TrafficEngineering.Support@tmr.qld.gov.au for advice regarding specific technical changes.