Roads & Traffic Authority
|Statutory authority overview|
|Dissolved||1 November 2011|
|Jurisdiction||New South Wales|
Roads, traffic, driver licensing and motor vehicle registration
|Annual budget||A$3.2 billion (2010)|
The Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) is a former New South Wales (Australia) government agency that was responsible for major road infrastructure, licensing of drivers, and registration of motor vehicles. The RTA directly managed State roads and provided funding to local councils for regional and local roads. In addition, with assistance from the Federal Government, the RTA also previously managed the NSW national highway system. The agency was abolished in 2011.
The Department of Main Roads (DMR) was created in November 1932. The DMR undertook works across NSW; including maintenance of all major roads into Sydney and programs of road reconstruction, construction, upgrading and rerouting. The DMR was also responsible for many ferries and New South Wales bridges.
In January 1989 of the Department of Main Roads, Department of Motor Transport, and the Traffic Authority were amalgamated into the Roads and Traffic Authority under the Transport Administration Act, No. 109, 1989 (NSW).
On 1 November 2011, the Roads and Traffic Authority in turn was merged with NSW Maritime to become Roads and Maritime Services. Planning and co-ordination functions were transferred to Transport for NSW.
Regions of the RTA
The Roads and Traffic Authority is divided up into six regions:
- Sydney region encompasses the area of the Sydney metropolitan and the Blue Mountains areas
- The Hunter Region encompasses the Hunter Region, Central Coast and the southern portion of the Mid North Coast
- Northern Region extends from about Taree to the Queensland border, and goes as far inland as Tamworth, called "New England"
- Southern Region encompasses the land south east of the ACT and the Illawarra area near Wollongong
- South West Region encompasses essentially the land west of the Australian Capital Territory to the South Australia border, extending from the Murray River up to around West Wyalong called the Riverina
- Western Region encompasses the remaining section in the west & north west of the state
Roads and Traffic Authority managed 4,787 bridges and 17,623 km (10,950 mi) of state roads and highways, including 3,105 km (1,929 mi) of national highways, and employs 6,900 staff in more than 180 offices throughout NSW, including 129 Motor Registries Offices.
The Roads and Traffic Authority is responsible for the registration of vehicles (including the issuing of registration plates) and the issuing of Drivers licences in New South Wales, including testing and administering of licences. Additionally, the RTA produces photo cards for identification of non-drivers and issues photographic firearms licences for the New South Wales Police Firearms Registry, security licences also for the New South Wales Police, Commercial Agents & Private Inquiry Agents cards and Mobility Parking Permits.
Key building projects
Key road building projects that the Roads and Traffic Authority is undertaking either directly, through contractors or via public/private partnerships, include:
- On-going completion of a four-lane dual carriageway of the Princes Highway from the Jervis Bay turnoff to link up with the Sydney Orbital Network near Mascot and on-going completion of the upgrading of the Pacific Highway to continuous dual carriageway (minimum four-lane) standard between the Sydney Newcastle Freeway and the Queensland border, by 2020.
Major incident response
Within NSW, the Transport Management Centre is responsible for managing special events and unplanned incidents and disseminating information to motorists. It is the central point for identifying and directing the response to incidents such as crashes, breakdowns and spills. It passes on information to the public through the media, the RTA call centre and variable message signs along routes.
In 1999 the NSW Transport Management Centre (TMC) established Traffic Commander and Traffic Emergency Patrol (TEP) services throughout the Greater Urban Area of Sydney to provide 24-hour 365-day-a-year coverage to "Manage the traffic arrangements around an incident scene and return the road to normal operating conditions with the utmost urgency."
Traffic Commanders take command of traffic management arrangements at an incident (such as a motor vehicle collision) and liaise with other response agencies such as the Police, and assist in clearing the road and minimising the effects and disruption to traffic. Traffic Emergency Patrols vans patrol major road routes and respond to unplanned incidents with the aim of returning the road to normal operating conditions as soon as possible. Both Traffic Commanders and TEP units carry a wide array of traffic management devices such as traffic cones, barrier boards and road signage. Both also are permitted to use and display red and blue emergency lighting and are designated as 'emergency vehicles'.
Recently completed projects
- Dual carriageway completion on the whole Hume Highway and the Great Western Highway (between Sydney and Katoomba only).
- Lawrence Hargrave Drive
- North Kiama Bypass
- Sydney Orbital Network (including Westlink M7, Cross City Tunnel, Lane Cove Tunnel, Western Distributor, General Holmes Drive, M4 Western Motorway, Southern Cross Drive, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Cahill Expressway, M5 Motorway, M5 East, M2 Hills Motorway, Gore Hill Freeway, Warringah Freeway and Eastern Distributor).
- Berowra Waters Ferry, across Berowra Waters
- Lawrence Ferry, across the Clarence River
- Mortlake Ferry, across the Parramatta River in Sydney
- Sackville Ferry, across the Hawkesbury River near the village of Sackville
- Speewa Ferry, across the Murray River between New South Wales and Victoria
- Ulmarra Ferry, across the Clarence River
- Webbs Creek Ferry, across the Hawkesbury River in the village of Wisemans Ferry
- Wisemans Ferry, across the Hawkesbury River in the village of Wisemans Ferry
- Wymah Ferry, across the Murray River between New South Wales and Victoria
- "Dudley Parker Paintings, Parkes". Heritage and conservation register. Roads and Traffic Authority. 30 March 2004. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- "New Roads and Maritime Services Chief Executive" (PDF). Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay. New South Wales Department of Transport. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- "Annual Report 2002" (PDF). Roads and Traffic Authority.
- "Re: Dedicated Major Incident Response Team". National Transportation Operations Coalition. 2001-09-10.
- Up for the challenge|Sydney traffic commander Shane Bentley| RTA. News.drive.com.au (2010-05-07). Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
- Traffic incident response < F3 Freeway < Using roads < Roads and Maritime Services. Rta.nsw.gov.au (2011-11-03). Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
- "Vehicle ferries". New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- "Contract Notice RTA.07.2547.0089". New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority. Retrieved 2008-12-27.
- Great Western Highway
- Sydney to Melbourne strategy
- Hume Highway duplication package
- Coolac Bypass
- Pacific Highway
- Princes Highway strategy.
- More completed projects from the RTA
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