View the full newsletter online here.
President's Message
Andrew Leedham

In this month’s newsletter, you might feel the excitement building for this year’s national conference being held in Melbourne in August. You can read the latest national conference news in the next section.

The annual conference also signifies the timing of the Annual General Meeting and this is when National Council will report its performance against the targets it set itself last year.

In the last week, members will have received email notification about two of the key initiatives.

The first of these concerned the Education Program and National Council’s decision to re-focus our efforts on delivering opportunities to all members to improve their knowledge and skills through the traditional technical forums and seminars. State Branch Presidents’ will now build on the development of the course materials with the aim of delivering a quality technical program in 2018.

The second of these concerned the latest development in the re-write of the Association’s constitution. The draft document in now available on-line for members to review and comment on. As I have reported in earlier newsletters, constitutions are dry but nonetheless important documents and I urge members to at least cast their eye over the proposed changes.  This is an important step in the transition from our incorporated body status to a company structure and the subsequent changes to the way we propose to run the Association in the future.

I am pleased with the progress National Council has made on these and other initiatives in this last year and with a clear view of what lies ahead I am confident that the Association will continue to provide quality and relevant services for all members.

I end my address by sadly noting the recent passing of Peter Bourke in South Australia on 26 June. Peter had suffered a long illness and will be remembered by all who knew and worked with him. Our thoughts are now with Peter’s family. I leave you with a very personal tribute written by Barry Hagan, Life Member and Past National President.

It is with heavy hearts that we are letting you know that Pete passed away comfortably in his sleep with his family around him. Pete often said how happy he was with the full life he had lived, and he had no regrets.

Peter was a valued member of the SA Branch from its early days and contributed greatly to the Branch success and development over a long period of time.

He served as Branch President from 1992 to 1994, on the National Council for that period and on the SA Branch Committee for a considerably longer time.

Peter was a larger than life character who was well regarded and respected by all who had contact with him, both professionally and socially. He was employed in South Australia as a traffic engineer at Adelaide City Council, City of Tea Tree Gully and as the SA representative of Australian Traffic Surveys (Austraffic).
Peter succumbed after a long and brave battle with a malignant brain tumour. I had maintained regular contact with Peter during that time and he maintained a positive and cheerful attitude and enjoyed greatly our reminiscences about our involvement in the world of traffic and transport and particularly in AITPM. He showed his “trademark” broad grin during most of our conversations.

He will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Andrew Leedham 
Click here to register now!

National Conference


Supporting young women to attend the conference

In early 2017 the State Government of Victoria launched their Women in Transport program which is a package of initiatives to encourage more women to enter and stay in the transport sector. The AITPM supports the Victorian Government's, Women in Transport program which aims to increase the number of women working in the sector from 16 per cent to 25 per cent by 2020. The AITPM has partnered with VicRoads, to subsidise 10 tickets ($1750) to young women who wish to become more engaged with the transport industry. This event will present the opportunity to network with professionals in relevant fields and hear discussion from industry leaders, including a plenary session from well-respected Women in Transport.

The 2017 conference will be held in Melbourne at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.  The conference will start with a welcoming cocktail function on the evening of 15th August; the main conference will follow on 16th August and 17th August, and the workshops / forums will be on 18th August.
Find out more about Young Women in Transport conference subsidies

Conference Program: 

An overview of the program can be found at
While the full program of all the papers that have been finalised can be found at

Conference brochure

Members should have received a conference flyer and a floor plan of the conference area or they can get a copy from our web site: 

Members are encouraged to pass on a copy of the to the appropriate people in their own company or other organisations or individuals who you think would benefit from participating in our major event. 


Conference Enquiries
Karen Hooper
PO Box 1070
Toombul Qld 4012
Ph: 0413 828 721

Conference Convenors
Scott Benjamin
Mob: +61 406 798 196

Reece Humphreys
Mob: +61 411 961 816
Sponsorship Coordinator
Paul Smith
Mob: +61 419 766 990
Reflections from the Editor 
David Brown
  • Understanding urban space 
  • Singing from the same hymn book 
  • UK Government pushes hard for electric cars
  • Getting more practical transport management into our communications
  • Can you really work in an autonomous car?
  • Professional Expertise?

Understanding urban space

Over the years the AITPM has had presentations and papers at conferences that discuss the idea of creating the right “urban space”.

Creating a good urban environment is not just ensuring enough shops and some transport networks.  It is about creating a sense of place.
Recently we did a video news story on new ways of measuring people’s reaction to an environment by immediate measurements of their eye tracking and their physiology (

Along this line I particularly enjoyed a piece in the The Conversation recently by Aaron Magro; PhD Candidate, Department of Archaeology and History, La Trobe University.  He noted that the early European settlement design of towns was based on the British heritage.  In part he said:

“While towns and new suburbs in the young colony were deeply influenced by European urban design, a key feature was excluded – the piazza. Governor Richard Bourke made very clear to surveyors that new towns in New South Wales (which at the time encompassed present-day Victoria) must not include public squares as these could promote rebellion”.

The paper was titled “Australians don’t loiter in public space – the legacy of colonial control by design”.

Could the proliferation of cafes and in some cases malls and other non-car areas be an important chapter in the saga that started at Eureka?

PS I’d like to think we had some more input from archaeology, anthropology and history researchers.

Singing from the same hymn book

What is 'driverless driving?' What is meant by 'intelligent infrastructure?' What exactly does 'piloted parking' look like?
Part of my career was in corporate planning and I found that many terms could be dutifully written up on a white board but not everyone present necessarily had the same image of what each term meant.

With the advent of new technology, transport planners and managers are increasingly interacting with non-traditional players.  Car manufacturers are a typical case in point.

Audi wants to make sure we are all talking the same lingo.  It has founded a working group together with city governments, business and scientific institutions, and produced with its partners a catalogue of terms for the city of the future. A DIN specification precisely defines more than 200 terms in automobile technology for 'intelligent individual urban mobility.' This is necessary to guarantee that urban planners can take account of impulses coming from interdisciplinary research and development while they design the smart city of tomorrow. Audi is convinced that cities will benefit from intelligent automobiles if they create the interfaces to match.

UK Government pushes hard for electric cars

In her speech to parliament the Queen has flagged that Theresa May’s will introduce an Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill.

One of the measures will be that service stations will be required to install electric charge points.
Two of our recent stories in the AITPM video news highlighted this isuue:

Included in the first story was how the luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz is just one of the companies who are making a large investment in electric vehicles and they are frustrated by the inaction of our own Federal Government.

I also recently interviewed a senior executive of BMW in Australia and she was even more forthright in saying how Australia is lagging behind both first and third world countries in encouraging consumers to embrace electric car technology.

India recently said it wants all news cars sold in their country by 2030 to be electric vehicles.

Getting more practical transport management into our communications

Our assistant editor Alan Finlay and I have been looking at ways to identify practical transport issues to communicate in the newsletter and video news.

In the June newsletter, you would have seen some more stories along with comments from Alan.
Later in this newsletter there is a call for people who would be interested in being part of an email group who can add a few words of wisdom to an issue to broaden our thinking.

I have noticed in the video news that it is the practical stories that seem to get the most individual hits.

The point is that it is not just a quick coverage of some local issues.  It is noting what is happening and getting feedback, that will make covering the story the most worthwhile.

Can you really work in an autonomous car?

Autonomous cars have been promoted as the ideal way to make use of that travel time to do productive work while the vehicle looks after itself.

But some research has suggested that around 10% of passengers will get car sick and the figure is only that low because over 50% will never let the car drive itself or they will keep their eyes on the road all the time.
Can the car make a difference and will we see new designs to cater for this new activity?

In the last month, I had to travel to Canberra twice, and on both occasions, I went by car with some colleagues to share the driving.

This gave me the opportunity to work in a car for a reasonable length of time.  The first vehicle was a large SUV.  There was quite good room in the back but not enough to really get comfortable with a lap top on my knee and tilting the screen so that it was comfortable to read.

The second car about a week later was a $300,000 Jaguar XJ Long Wheel Base saloon. For the record, I note that it also had a supercharged 5 litre V8 motor.  The comfort and convenience was a quantum leap over the SUV.  I had space to lower my elegant, solid tray and the massaging seat helped me relax.  It had a smooth ride and pleasant ambience that seemed to sooth away any feeling of travel sickness.  Normally I am not too good with my head down.

But does this mean that autonomous cars may contribute to inequity?  Will the biggest benefits be to those who can afford the extra creature comforts, or will room and convenience become a standard feature of most cars.

PS When we returned the Jaguar press car it was immediately whisked off to be used by Prince Harry for his trip around Sydney.  Apparently, the police went through it with a fine-tooth comb to see if there were any bombs.  I don’t think that was just because I had it; it was standard procedure.

Professional Expertise?

Last month’s newsletter carried a story about a spelling error in an Adelaide sign.  In the more serious sections of the newsletter we discussed the decline in professional expertise in government departments such as traffic signal light control.

Perhaps the two are related.  Professional skills include spelling and grammar.

David Brown

Platinum Sponsor gets new brand identity

Long term AITPM supporter WSP/Parsons Brinkerhoff (who has achieve the status of platinum sponsor) has rebranded its company under the WSP name.
The company reflects the diversity of professions that ultimately have an impact on when and how we travel.

They have 36,000 employees in 500 offices in 40 countries around the world with technical experts and strategic advisors including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals.

A video titled “WSP – What If We Can?" Can be seen at

Identifying issues from aerial photography

As mentioned in the last newsletter, I have been having some dialogue with Nearmap organisation who take regular aerial photography of all our major urban areas.

They sent in examples of some of the things I thought might be of benefit to us.  Perhaps the best value might be where you know or think there is an issue and an aerial shot can clarify and/or exemplify the point.
Pedestrian Routes on Grass
Pedestrian traffic often follows the most direct path, not necessarily the one where we have provided footpaths.  Large areas of grass may show worn paths that indicate the true desire lines.  Looking for pedestrian paths would require local knowledge but an aerial shot makes the point very clearly.  This diagonal marking across an oval appears to indicate a large pedestrian movement not on the concrete paths.
Confusing Line Marking

With the construction of extra motorway lanes near the Tullamarine airport in Melbourne there has been new line marking (in yellow) while the old line marking (in white) has not been removed.  Nearmap’s photo of a three-lane (?) section of road just south of the airport shows the issue clearly.  The frequency of the aerial photos especially in areas of areas of maintenance and construction could be a critical aspect of getting the right coverage.
Where will the next floods cause difficulties

Flood waters can cause damage to roads and other transport infrastructure.  They also cut off certain roads.  Immediately after the cyclone in Queensland an aerial shot indicated just what the lie of the land produces with flood waters.  This situation is undoubtedly short lived but could help develop future emergency plans.
Other possibilities

Alan Finlay has considered the possibilities and any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Land use changes around transport nodes

Alan had not been to Carlingford near the railway station in nearly a decade.  Recent changes in unit construction have been massive.  Indeed other areas of Carlingford have also had considerable unit construction especially along Carlingford Road.  Gauging the scale of the changing nature of this environment especially if there have not been significant transport improvements, could be most revealing.
Similarly, the change in land use around the WestConnex as well as the sheer physical effect of the project is also worthy of consideration.

And perhaps it doesn’t need to be such huge projects.  If a road is taking significantly higher traffic volumes or if public transport access to and through and area is changed then a series of aerial shots over the ensuring years could graphically show the impact.

Plotting Road Crashes

Would it be beneficial to overlay crash statistics on an aerial photo?

For crash (or near miss) sites, we would need to know where they are.  This would require either very good local knowledge (e.g. LGA traffic engineer or Police) or a careful analysis of crash data to identify greater than expected crash reporting, i.e. the ‘outliers’. 

If there was a known area of concern then an aerial overview might help bring together the interaction of land-use and the road layout in a way that might prompt ….?

Transport Data Thought for the Day - Quantity and Quality

For many years the only way to collect travel time information was to allocate several cars to a route to make some runs in the morning and evening peak in each direction and record their times initially at major intersections.

Now with Bluetooth technology and probe point data sensing be it via cellular or navigation system service providers we can collect thousands of records of people in vehicles.  Usually this data are either collected or compiled at selected locations along a route.  Bluetooth Detectors are usually at major intersections and are now being located in traffic signal control boxes.

There are a few issues to consider with the Bluetooth technology such as how do you take into account that there may be many devices in the one bus.  But there is also a fundamental point about what we are actually collecting and reporting which are average figures between major nodes.

Here we should not forget the value of the “old” floating car method.  With GPS technology, the location could be plotted every second, not just at major intersections.  As we consider traffic management solutions at specific locations this more detailed information can have great value.

Consider the situation where you are looking at extending a turning bay.  If the existing turning bay is being filled to over-flowing, then cars will queue out into the through lane and cause considerable delay.  A floating car survey can pick up this “local” congestion spot that might be masked with the Bluetooth average figure across all lanes.  Solutions might be to introduce the right turn arrow at the beginning (and end) of the through phase, and/or extend the length of the turning lane.

The GPS detailed survey might also be used to measure the travel time in the kerb side lane particularly picking up the impact of buses stopping regularly.

The huge number of Bluetooth records would seem to be intuitively a way to get very accurate information but work by private companies who can compile this type of information, has shown that the results are not always as accurate as might be expected.

No one is saying that we do away with Bluetooth and other similar forms of measurement but some additional, second-by-second measurement, could significantly add to our understanding.

John Reid
NB John Reid will be delivering a paper at the AITPM National Conference titled “Where are we on the scale of data information, knowledge and wisdom”

Expressions of Interest sought for ‘Experts Panel’

Q: What is an expert?
A: A drip under pressure!

Our profession has a healthy record of innovative ideas.  It seems every week there is a new concept or device that is claimed to improve efficiency, safety or amenity.
As just one example, the South Australian Government is trialling Australia’s first interactive intersection warning signs at four key rural locations.  The system, developed in Sweden and currently used in New Zealand, provides flashing warning lights and/or reduced speed limits when activated by approaching vehicles. (For more details, see:

The AITPM Newsletter editorial team believes there is a benefit to members and the profession if we can encourage discussion by taking an idea, a report or a story and adding some comments from a range of practitioners.  We also want to identify current practices and problems where suggestions might be helpful.

Typical comments might include:
  • A technical reference to relevant research,
  • An example of where an improvement was tried
  • How the impact was (or should be) measured and what were the results
  • Potential unintended consequences
  • A personal opinion of the value or otherwise
But we need to ensure that we are tapping into the vast pool of expertise and experience represented by our membership. 

Accordingly, AITPM is seeking expressions of interest for members to be on a newsletter email group.  We are looking for people with expertise in the following disciplines:
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Road Safety (especially Road Safety Auditors)
  • Transport Planning
  • Land Use Planning
We are looking for a spread of ages so we encourage participation from the Young Professionals Network, as well as the ‘grey hair’ set, and it would be good to have geographic diversity.

The pay is consistent with most AITPM hiring practices (i.e. nil) but think of the kudos of belonging to such a distinguished group and having your opinions published in the newsletter and maybe in an electronic AITPM News segment!

We propose no formal meetings but rather for all correspondence to be handled electronically.

If you would like to be considered for the panel, please email Alan Finlay through the newsletter email at with an outline of your:
  • Age
  • Years of experience
  • Current position and location
  • Specialist disciplines

Video News

In the last month, the most popular AITPM video news stories have been

Audio interviews 

We regularly conduct extended interviews with stakeholders and research professionals in a wide are of traffic and transport activities.  Here are some of the latest.

Measuring your real responses to how you feel about where and how you travel

The concept of designing places is not only creating infrastructure for carrying out functions but fashioning locations which create positive emotions and a sense of wellbeing.  This might be seen as an evolving art form, but maybe not just an art form.  It is not just creative people producing things that they think are aesthetically pleasing.

I can have an opinion but what is really impacting the way I react to a mall, recreation precinct or other community place.

Now you can ask people what they think but that is a response after we have had the experience and that can be affected by the nature of the questions and how we feel we should rationalise our behaviour.  Is there a better way?

Jonathan Daly has just presented a paper at the Asian Pacific Conference for Place Leaders.  He has a good story to tell.

Jonathan Daly who is an urbanist, a professional who looks at how our towns and cities function and how we can create a better community through informed design.


Mercedes Benz, electric vehicles and pollution

Fully electric cars have not taken off in Australia yet.

We recently reported on the Federal Government giving a small amount for further research on electric vehicles while Transport for London is giving millions to actually build some more charging stations.
The Electric Vehicle Council has kicked off in Australia with a number of car companies and other stakeholders.  As yet Mercedes is not a member but they are working in many areas on interaction to promote electric vehicles.

David McCarthy is Mercedes Benz Senior Manager – Public Relations, Product and Corporate in Australia

Traffic Management News

New trees along the road are not allowed to be bigger than 10cm

The typical Flemish regional road, with massive trees on each side of the road, will disappear. The road authority will only plant slow growing trees. If they grow bigger than 10 cm diameter, they will be cut to the ground. "This has to make our roads safer." A crash into a grown tree rarely goes well. The Flemish government wants to make roads "more forgiving".
"Possible fatal obstacles have to be avoided as much as possible", says Flemmish minister of mobility Ben Weyts

Alan Finlay's Comment:

In my opinion, this is a step in the right direction.  Note that it applies to NEW trees only – apparently there is to be no wholesale cutting down of existing trees.  This is similar to what we have in NSW in terms of designs for new roads or upgraded roads.  Members will note the use of ‘soft’ scrub in the centre medians of wide freeways – designed to dissipate energy in the crash while preventing excursion into oncoming traffic. On existing roads, however, there is no appetite for removal of established trees, no matter what size they are.  For example, on Bells Line of Road in the vicinity of Bilpin, NSW there are huge eucalypts about 1 metre from the edge of the road! The trees have many advantages – carbon sinks, animal habitat, roadside fauna corridor, shade, etc.  It’s just a pity they are so close to the edge of the road.

South Australia trialling safety warning systems at four rural intersections

The Government of South Australian is trialling the country’s first, intersection warning systems at four key rural locations that will trigger safety measures when vehicles are detected approaching road junctions.

The Rural Intersection Active Warning System (RIAWS) is able to reduce the speed limit displayed on roadside variable message signs (VMS) when it detects vehicles approaching an intersection.
The innovative technology was originally developed in Sweden, and is currently in use in New Zealand where, together with static safety signs that warn drivers to slow down or alert them to intersections ahead, the technology has been found to slow vehicles by as much as 12.5mph (20km/h). New Zealand-based company Armitage Group has been the systems integrator and developer of the RIAWS for the country’s Transport Agency (NZTA).
Alan Finlay's Comment:

I’m in two minds about this.

On the one hand, anything that ‘wakes up’ a non-concentrating driver to a potential hazard is probably worthwhile, but I question the need to reduce the legal speed limit.  Why not just warn the main road traffic that there might be a potential conflict? This could be done by flashing yellow lights around the static priority intersection sign.

On the other hand, what if the real danger is the driver on the side road not realising they are approaching the main road, and sailing straight through?  Might it be more effective to alert them if they were approaching the intersection too quickly?

And finally, it seems like Nanny State overkill – if drivers did what they are supposed to do (concentrate on the primary task), none of this expensive technology would be necessary. (And will it be properly and adequately maintained?)

Technical Tour – Sydney’s North West Metro Railway

On Friday 9 June 2017, twenty members of the AITPM NSW Branch participated in a Technical Tour of Sydney’s North West Metro (NWM) railway, which is still under construction.

When opened in 2019, the NWM will link the existing North Shore line at Chatswood to the rapidly growing North West Growth sector at Rouse Hill. It is some 36km long, with the eastern section underground between Chatswood and Bella Vista, and an elevated ‘skytrain’ section from Bella Vista to Rouse Hill.  The NWM is the first stage of Sydney’s metro railway system, and preliminary work is already underway on Stage 2, from Chatswood via North Sydney and Sydney CBD to Sydenham and Bankstown (in the inner South West). The 30km long Stage 2, programmed to open in 2024, will include a second railway crossing of Sydney Harbour, this time underground.
The NWM will be Sydney’s first metro style railway, featuring:
  • Single-deck, driverless trains
  • Multiple doors on each carriage, thus allowing fast unloading and loading
  • Peak period frequencies of no more than 4 minutes (“turn up and go” style timetable)
  • Station barriers with doors that align with the train doors
  • Predominantly standing positions (rather than seated) within the carriages
  • Expandable commuter parking (park and ride) at key stops, with a total of 4000 spaces initially
  • Bus-Rail interchanges at new stations at Rouse Hill, Kellyville, and Castle Hill
The tour group met at Sydney Metro’s Macquarie Park office before travelling via coach to the outer end of the line at Cudgegong Road, near Rouse Hill. There we were able to inspect station mock-ups (both above ground and underground) and to ask questions of our Transport for NSW (TfNSW) tour leaders,  David Dodd and Richard Shepherd Cudgegong Road is also the location of the train stabling and maintenance facility, together with the train control centre.
The AITPM tour group at Cudgegong Road
Above ground station mock-up
Underground station mock-up

We then travelled parallel to the NWM route and saw station locations at Rouse Hill, Norwest, Bella Vista and Showground Road. At the last of these were we able to inspect the mock-up of a NWM carriage while enjoying some morning tea, before heading back to Macquarie Park.
While no doubt offering many benefits in terms of frequency and safety, the NWM has not been without controversy. Critics have raised issues like:
  • The acceptability to regular rail commuters of relatively long distances without seating
  • The decision to build new rail tunnels with a smaller diameter that would preclude future use of double-deck rolling stock
  • The need to modify existing stations between Epping and Chatswood to incorporate platform barriers (and thus shutting down the line for seven months during this work).  The same issue applies to the Bankstown line stations to be converted to metro operation.
  • The possibility that peak period trains will be full after just a few stops on inbound journeys
  • The capacity of the existing North Shore line trains at Chatswood to handle such high frequency NMW arrivals in the AM peak period
It will be interesting to see how Sydney commuters adapt to the metro style railways.  Such metro operations have certainly been very successful in other global cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore. And it is clear that our existing double-deck trains are constrained by their long dwell times at the busiest stations in peak periods, as commuters struggle to load and unload through just two doors per carriage. One other interesting advantage of driverless trains is the ability to reverse their travelling direction very quickly at the end of the line.  Currently, our rail timetables need to allow 15 minutes for this process with train driver staff.
Alan Finlay
13 June 2017

Mongol Rally - Serious fun for a serious cause

I don’t know what you do for entertainment but AITPM member Mike Willson clearly has an adventurous spirit with an aim of helping others along the way.

He has entered the Mongol Rally which involves driving a farcically small vehicle from London to Mongolia within two months.  Two months!! That might be a reasonable time for such an escapade but it is much more of a commitment that a Saturday afternoon watching the footie.

Apparently, a major expectation is that you will buy a car off your gran.

To get the idea you can see a YouTube video.

I must point out that it is not a rational, concise argument for the event.  It shows the character of the people competition and the unusual circumstances they get themselves into.

A map of the route can be found here.

And he is not just doing this for fun.  He is raising money for an organisation called First Descents. They take young adults who have or who have beaten cancer and take them on a cool trip. His group is sponsoring a surfing trip. Any support he can get would be gratefully appreciated.

Information on First Descents can be found at

Mike is putting together a website and will do a blog through the trip.  The web site will include logos of companies that sponsor us, and their logos will be on our cars. They have a total of five people in two cars making the trip.

Vale Louis Challis, acoustics expert who peopled develop audio-tactile pedestrian signals

The Sydney Morning Herald recently has an obituary for Louis Challis AM which said he Challis had a reputation as Australia's leading acoustical engineer.  (

In part they also said:

In the 1970s, Challis designed and developed an audio-tactile push-button signalling system, so pedestrians who are sight- and/or hearing-impaired can easily determine whether the signal is displaying "Walk" or "Don't Walk" simply by touching the button. Although the New South Wales Department of Main Roads offered Challis the right to patent his invention, he declined to do so on the basis that he believed the innovation should be made as widely available as possible at the lowest possible cost. The system he designed is used not only in all Australian cities but also around the world.

This has produced a wide range of reminisces about the development of the audio/tactile system.

AITPM member Graeme Pattison recalls:

I was fortunate enough to work with Frank Huscher when he was managing the development of audio tactile buttons in the mid 1970's. While Challis did the acoustic design, the actual physical button was designed by David Wood of Nielsen Design Associates, a well known team of industrial designers. Perhaps NDA were subcontracted to Challis. It was the Department of Motor Transport that instigated, commissioned and managed the project using research funds under the Federal Transport (Planning & Research) Act 1974. Thanks to the Whitlam Government of the day. Accordingly I believe that DMT owned the intellectual property and it would have been DMT (ie Frank Hulscher) who decided to make the final design freely available to manufacturers. I expect at the most that Challis only had some claim on the audio signal format and its directional properties. Challis won the 1976 ACEA award for their development of the audio tactile system.

Frank had earlier obtained several overseas samples of devices to assist visually impaired pedestrians at signals. One from Japan was a free standing pillar about one meter high and 150mm in diameter with a domed top, a bit similar to a Telstra cable connection pillar. The top vibrated strongly when the WALK signal was on. Frank and I took it out to Randwick where he had me take photos of him with it next to signalised crossings. Unfortunately for Frank it became known as "Frank's Vibrator" and it sat in the DMT Rosebery 8th floor office for some time. The occasional person would switch it on, sit on it and say funny things, but not while Frank was around.

Another memory was that the system had a daylight sensor installed that reduced the beeper volume at night so as not to annoy nearby residents.

Other stories include
  • A graduate Engineer was sent out to investigate an AT noise complaint from a shopkeeper. She was offered a free pair of shoes, her choice of any in the shop, if she could have the noisy thing removed.
  • A church at Carlingford complained as it was interfering with their Sunday service.
  • Apparently you did not have to be at street level.  A resident living on the 4th floor of an apartment block could stand the “noise”.
  • A chemist started to complain about the noisy audio-tactile signal outside his shop. The Signals Staff checked the device and found it to be operating correctly, but they reduced the sound level. The chemist was not satisfied, so they turned the intensity right down. All this took a few weeks, and the man was becoming quite irate. The Signals Staff maintained that the equipment was not faulty, but that the chemist was 'rather fussy'.  We he nagged senior staff they investigated and  found that the locating signal had been reduced to a level where it would have been virtually useless to a blind pedestrian, but each time the WALK signal came up a regulatory sign on the same post started to vibrate and rattle, making a noisy racket right outside his shop. All that it required was to tighten up the loose bolt on the sign, and the chemist was happy. The intensity of the locating signal had never bothered him, and it was turned back up to a more useful level. 

WA Bicycle Network Grants – Applications open Monday 10 July

Do you have a cycling project which will improve safety for people on bikes? Improve cycling connectivity and access to key destinations? Increase opportunities for cycle tourism? 

The Western Australian Bicycle Network (WABN) Grants Program is a State Government initiative which provides up to 50 per cent funding to WA Local Government Authorities for the planning, design and construction of bicycle infrastructure in accordance with priorities set out in the WABN Plan.

Applications open on Monday 10 July, with application forms available on the Department of Transport website for projects commencing in 2018-19. To enable project staging and facilitate high quality planning and design, funding may be applied for over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years.
For more information or to discuss your project, contact the Cycling Team at the Department of Transport. 
See who has joined AITPM members each month
as well as other AITPM news 
AITPM news

Queensland Branch Half-Day Transport Modelling Seminar 2017

On May 24th, AITPM Qld Branch held our annual Half-Day Transport Modelling Seminar. This event is the premier transport modelling event of the year, and always attracts a good crowd. This year was no exception, with over 80 attendees from government, academia and the private sector. This event was sponsored by PwC, and held in an excellent event space at their Brisbane office.

In a departure from tradition, the event was held in the morning, concluding with a stand-up lunch, rather than as an afternoon session. Feedback on this change has been sparse, but positive.

Our special guest speaker, Steve Kanowski (Chief Economist and General Manager of Strategic Policy at TMR) gave an interesting overview of the Department's current interests in our industry, and a clear indication of the exciting role transport modellers are playing in understanding the impacts of autonomous and demand-responsive transport technologies.

The technical presentations were varied and interesting, with Pedro Camargo, Yun Bu, Mark Plattz, Rachael Amies, and Peter Davidson presenting on topics including modelling departure time choice, better approaches to time period choice and destination choice, and impacts of autonomous vehicles. The final presentation was a new concept, and well received, providing a 'highlights reel' from the Transportation Research Board's Planning Applications Conference (held in the USA in mid-May).

The modelling industry in Queensland is now eagerly looking forward to meeting Luis Willumsen and sharing ideas at a national level at the AITPM National Conference in August.

QLD Branch meeting - Speed Networking Event 2017

On the 7th May the AITPM Queensland Branch organised a new type of event, being a SPEED NETWORKING EVENT, in Brisbane. A recent survey of Queensland members had revealed a very strong desire to capitalise on the opportunities the AITPM provides in terms of professional networking, renewing old acquaintances and making new friends. The purpose of this SPEED NETWORKING EVENT was to put theory into practice and realise the benefits that we all seek.

The event will started at 5.00pm for a 5.30pm kick off where 33 AITPM members, including representatives from our Platinum, National and Branch Sponsor organisations and a number of special guests, such as Dennis Walsh, the General Manager of Land Transport Safety from the Department of Transport and Main Roads. What followed was a very intense one on one chat for 5 minutes each with 16 individuals over the 90 minutes.

The event was a huge success, with all participants actively participating and sharing their knowledge and experiences with their colleagues. The AITPM Queensland Branch is looking forward to hosting this event again next year.

Victorian Branch Forum – Safe System Approach

The Safe System approach has been the central theme guiding road safety in Australia since 2004 after being adapted from the Swedish Vision Zero Strategy.  The approach is built on the principles that death and serious injury are an unacceptable trade-off, that humans make mistakes and that humans can only tolerate certain forces. There are five key elements: Safe Roads; Safe Speeds; Safe Vehicles; Safe People and Post-Crash Response.

About 30 people braved a cold Melbourne night to attend a technical forum on the Safe System held on Wednesday 21st June at the offices of WSP in Southbank. With a focus on best practice road safety for the future, the three speakers provided an interesting and engaging presentation on various aspects of where road safety is heading.

Daniel Mustata from VicRoads presented on sustainable safety learnings from Europe following his Kerry Burke Memorial Scholarship tour of Europe to study leaders in road safety. Daniel described examples from Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands and outlined  the Dutch practice of sustainable safety  i.e. sustainable safe road infrastructure adapted to the limitations of human capacity through road design. Principles have been developed to achieve safe roads based on scientific theories and research arising from disciplines of psychology, biomechanics and traffic engineering. One action from this is that lower speed limits of around 30 km/h are becoming  common practice in high pedestrian/cycling  areas. Daniel is using the information gathered to help embed the safe system approach into the VicRoads Movement and Place focus.

Paul Mihailidis from Trafficworks Pty Ltd presented on large scale practical implementation measures undertaken in Victoria to help achieve the safe system, particularly the development and implementation of continuous barrier projects in rural Victoria. Hundreds of kilometres of wire rope safety barrier are being installed across the state’s freeways, highways and major rural arterial roads to prevent crashes into roadside obstacles and oncoming cars, significantly reducing the chances of serious injury or fatality crashes.

David Young, Senior Planner at Arup advised us that the introduction of automated vehicles (AVs) to the global market is leading to a seismic shift in the way our transport systems perform and operate, and road safety will not be immune from the effects.

David discussed the opportunities and challenges that the Safe System will face with the transition to an AV world.  The presentation focused on key questions including “Will all the effects of AVs be beneficial?”, “Do the Safe System principles apply in an AV world?”, “Will AV and non-AV vehicles create a greater road safety issue in the short term?” and “Who needs to act to implement improved safety outcomes in the future?”  David achieved maximum audience participation by asking all present to use their phones to log into an online interactive application to answer questions he posed on hypothetical safety scenarios involving AVs, and the audience responses were immediately displayed on screen. The results indicated a wide range of views on some of the questions presented.

AITPM Member Personal Profile

Ray Cook

  • Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (F.I.C.H.T.)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Highway Engineers (F.I.H.E.)
  • Incorporated Engineer (I.Eng.), UK
  • HNC  Civils
Brief one paragraph pen pic:
I started with Essex County Council in the UK as a Traffic Technician, worked for a number of local councils then joined Colin Buchanan and Partners and was seconded to Transport for London as a Senior Traffic Engineer. By chance I saw an advertisement for employment in Hong Kong, moved there with MVA (now SYSTRA) in 1994 as a Senior Traffic Engineer. Over 5 years I was promoted to Associate then Associate Director. Returned to the UK in 1999, worked for the Project Centre as Head of Traffic and Transportation, promoted to Director. Moved to NZ with MWH in 2010 as a Senior Project Manager, seconded to Transit NZ, and joined Transit NZ as National Safety Engineer. Moved back to MVA in HK in 2007 and finally, moved to Cardno in January 2010… phew…. 30 years in a paragraph…

What is your current role?
I am responsible for the management of Cardno's Traffic and Transport Planning team in Western Australia, the largest of its kind in WA.  My main role is team development/mentoring, client management, business development and providing oversight of the team’s projects in the role of Project Director guiding 5 Seniors and their teams working in different area such as Traffic Safety, Transport Modelling and Transport Planning.  The team has grown substantially from when I first started when it was pretty much me, Jacob Martin and a graduate.

When/how did you first get involved with AITPM?
Around 2004 when working in NZ I came across the organisation, I was attracted to it due to its focus being relevant to my role.

How did you first get involved in the transport profession?
Joined Essex County Council (UK) as a traffic technician.

Could you explain some key opportunities in your career and how they contributed to your professional development?
Being able to move within different local governments in the UK with good training opportunities. Moving to Hong Kong was a challenging and exciting environment. Moving to Perth and being involved in many major and challenging projects over the last, nearly, 8 years has continued to help me develop my career both professionally and within Cardno.

What has been a memorable moment in your career?
Moving to HK was the probably most memorable career moment, the pace of development in the 1990’s was different to anywhere, the scale of projects I worked on around Asia and the opportunity to work on real multimodal developments with integrated transport facilities including private car, taxi, bus, rail and pedestrian modes.

Do you have any advice you would like to share to professionals in the transport/traffic industry? Or those looking to begin their careers in this industry?
Look for employers who offer structured training, especially Councils and State Authorities, stay with a good employer as long as possible, and don’t move employer for a few dollars. Cardno operates a good training programme for Interns and Graduates which is quite unusual nowadays.
Quirky News

The following are extracts from the radio program Overdrive which is syndicated to stations around Australia on the Community Radio Network and is presented by AITPM members David Brown and Brian Smith and technical expert Errol Smith. Episodes and more stories from the program can be heard at You can also hear about news, features and quirky news via twitter @db_drivenmedia.

Hybrid thermal camera might identify personal habits

Dahua Technology, has developed a new compact thermal camera that may enhance the detection of cars, cyclists and pedestrians.

They claim that thermal cameras outperform other detection technologies by detecting the heat given off by everything in their field of view, so, unlike traditional video cameras, they do not get ‘confused’ by the sun’s glare, darkness, headlights, shadows, wet streets, snow and fog.

But a range of people have been testing the device to see if it can pick up indiscrete emissions from people.  This might lead to a way to shame those who “let off” in a crowded bus or train.

Mercedes Benz is getting a new “gorgeous” shop front

By the end of the year Mercedes will open a “Me” store in Melbourne. It is more about good coffee and food than selling cars. But will it create a vibe or an “in-crowd” group or a new sect?

Hear a discussion on this at
Building a wall of bicycles

As reported by the ABC, a spiralling oversupply of shared bikes in China is leading to huge piles of broken and unused bicycles.
National Platinum Sponsors
National Sponsors
Major Branch Sponsors
  • Main Roads Western Australia - WA
  • RAC of WA - WA
  • Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure - SA
  • RAA - SA
  • The Department of Transport and Main Roads - QLD
  • Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) - NSW
  • Matrix Traffic and Transport Data  - NSW
  • Traffic Engineering Centre - NSW
  • VicRoads - VIC 
Branch Sponsors
  • Bitzios- QLD
  • Point8 - QLD
  • PTT - QLD
  • Donald Veal Consultants - WA
  • GTA - WA 
  • GHD - SA
  • Tonkin Consulting - SA
  • O’BrienTraffic - VIC
  • Matrix Traffic and Transport Data - VIC
  • Trafficworks Pty Ltd – VIC
  • TraffixGroup – VIC

AITPM Newsletter

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Editorial Team
Editor: David Brown, Driven Media Pty Ltd
Sub-Editor: Alan Finlay
National Administrator: Karen Hooper, on behalf of AITPM, Inc

AITPM Incorporated and Driven Media Pty Ltd takes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any content in this newsletter and does not warrant or guarantee that this newsletter is free of errors, viruses or interference, or has been received in the form sent. AITPM Incorporated and Driven Media Pty Ltd take no responsibility for the content of Internet sites that link from this site. The recipient assumes all responsibility for any consequences resulting from all uses made of this newsletter.

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