Different approach needed in rural road upgrades
AN ACADEMIC report has shed light on how rural roads are assessed for upgrade.
The report, funded by AgriFutures Australia and entitled Research Activities on Rural Roads, suggests the current way new rural and regional roads and upgrades are evaluated and prioritised does not adequately capture the real value of agricultural and rural use.
Principal researcher Professor Derek Baker, Dr David Hadley and consultant David Anderson conducted the case study for the report in rural New South Wales.
Their findings show that a new approach to assess rural road use is needed to effectively evaluate small and large-scale road infrastructure projects.
The team explained that road use prioritisation tends to be based on population - on a per use basis, but that this ignores factors such as the value-adding potential of accessing markets that are sensitive to timing of delivery.
The network effects of road use - which offset delays due to road closures during floods - were also found to substantially boost the benefit-cost ratios of upgrading.
The full report can be fond at: http://bit.ly/2Fi1zU4.