The information below is intended to reflect the preferred practice of Main Roads Western Australia ("Main Roads"). Main Roads reserves the right to update this information at any time without notice. If you have any questions or comments regarding the Policy Statement or Application and Approval Guidelines please contact Jeff Anderson by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4641. If you have any questions or comments regarding the Technical Guidelines please contact
Albert Wong by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4153.
To the extent permitted by law, Main Roads, its employees, agents, authors and contributors are not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on the information herein displayed.
This document is owned and authorised by the Executive Director Metropolitan & Southern Regions and Executive Director Central and Northern Regions. Please submit all comments and requests to the Delegated Custodian Director Network Management – Central and Northern Regions.
Rest areas to service the convenience and rest needs of road users will be provided subject to guideline conditions, funding and work priority. If the road section of a major project includes any substandard rest areas, then the rest areas shall be upgraded to meet the guideline conditions as part of the major project works.
Application of this guideline is limited to rest areas along rural State Roads only. Freeway Service Centres and Road Train Assembly Areas are not covered in this policy. Please refer to the Policy and Guidelines for the Provision of Freeway Service Centres document for Main Roads' policy on Freeway Service Centres.
School bus bays are covered by PTA under the Design of Stopping locations and turnarounds for rural contract school bus services (D16#235032) (Please note that this is a copy as of May 2016. A link to the guidelines at PTA will be made once PTA's website is upgraded)
This document is aimed as a guideline to achieve the objectives of the Policy on Rest Areas on main roads and highways in Western Australia.
It can also be used to conduct a review of existing services, provide guidance in create new rest areas or consolidate existing ones where over servicing might occur.
Main Roads – Main Roads Western Australia
Rural Roads – roads outside the Perth Zone as defined in Section 6.1
State Roads – roads under the care and control of Main Roads Western Australia
IRIS – Integrated Road Inventory System
KABC – Keep Australia Beautiful Council
LG – Local Government
MOU – Memorandum of Understanding
All Weather Surface – means a compacted gravel surface or sealed surface
AS – means Australian Standard
Driver fatigue is a significant contributor to the road toll in Western Australia, with fatigue believed to be responsible for up to 30% of all road deaths and an even bigger percentage of serious injury crashes (Road Safety Commission). The key to reducing these types of crashes is to encourage motorists to stop and rest when they feel drowsy. Driver rest areas are provided to afford drivers the opportunity to take such rest breaks in a safe environment.
To ensure standardisation when developing or upgrading rest areas, there are three types of rest areas that are used on Western Australia's State roads. They are defined in the next three sections:
A minor rest area is primarily designed to cater for motorists to stop and rest for a short period and therefore provides the basic range of facilities. Parking space is provided for light vehicles only. A visitor information board may be installed in a minor rest area if the surrounding area is deemed to have tourism or cultural significance.
Where there is a scenic view, a minor rest area could also serve as a scenic lookout, with the associated facilities provided (e.g. pedestrian access, lookout platform). Minor rest areas are also known and signed as parking bays.
A major rest area is primarily designed to cater for longer rest breaks for all road users, therefore offering a larger range of facilities than a minor rest area. Parking areas are provided for both light and heavy vehicles. Its purpose is to allow drivers to take sleep breaks, and heavy vehicle drivers to take breaks to meet their statutory requirements under fatigue management regulations. Overnight ('24-hour') stays may be permissible in certain major rest areas to achieve a positive fatigue management outcome. Like minor rest areas, a major rest area may include a tourist information board if a significant tourism or cultural interest exist in the area, and could be a scenic lookout with the associated facilities if there is a scenic view.
A heavy vehicle rest area is primarily designed to cater for drivers of heavy vehicles to carry out short, purpose-based stops including load checks, completing logbooks and addressing associated operational needs. However, for all intents and purposes, a heavy vehicle rest area is a facility for all road users. Overnight ('24-hour') stays may be permissible in certain heavy vehicle rest areas if the rest area has adequate capacity and an appropriately designed layout and in doing so would achieve a positive fatigue management outcome.
Heavy vehicle rest areas are not Road Train Assembly Areas (RTAAs). RTAAs serve the specific purpose of providing an area for Restricted Access Vehicles (RAVs) to be reconfigured according to their permit requirements when travelling from one RAV Network to a more/less restrictive RAV Network. Heavy Vehicle Services manage these areas.
The provision of rest areas must be on the basis of a suite of strategic considerations aimed at establishing a comprehensive and effective rest area network. Factors for consideration when assessing the rest area requirements include spacing, capacity and the level of facilities provided, function in the context of the route's development strategy and potential conflicts that may arise with commercial and in-town facilities along the route. Consideration of land requirements to allow for potential future upgrades to existing rest areas or creating new rest areas must be taken into account.
The applicable minimum spacing requirements should be met in determining the required frequency of rest areas along a route. Different spacing requirements apply, depending on the zone in which the route being considered is situated.
The State is divided into three zones, the Perth Zone, the Inner Zone and the Outer Zone. The Inner Zone comprises the closely settled 'agricultural' part of the State, lying between the Outer Zone and the Perth Zone contained within the following boundaries:
The Outer Zone comprises the pastoral/mining area of the State, north and east of the Inner Zone boundaries.
The extents of the three Zones are illustrated diagrammatically in Figure 1.
Figure 1 – Perth, Inner and Outer Zones
The maximum desirable spacing intervals as recommended by the National Transport Commission's National Guidelines for the Provision of Rest Areas Facilities are 40km for minor rest areas, 90km for major rest areas, and 20km for heavy vehicle rest areas. A tolerance of 5km is allowed to ascertain suitable locations.
The maximum desirable spacing intervals as recommended by the National Transport Commission's National Guidelines for the Provision of Rest Areas Facilities are 60km for minor rest areas, 110km for major rest areas, and 40km for heavy vehicle rest areas. A tolerance of 5km is allowed to ascertain suitable locations.
As these recommended spacing intervals are only a general guideline, the appropriate spacing intervals need to be considered separately for each individual route. Consideration should be made of the strategic function of the route – refer to Section 6.3 for further discussion. A reduction in these spacing intervals should be considered where there is a higher than normal demand for rest areas and facilities. Also, consideration should be made of any identified clusters of fatigue-related crash locations ('hotspots') and the possible relationship between them and the route's rest area facilities. Prevailing local conditions should be taken into consideration when identifying preferable rest area locations – refer to the technical guidelines for further discussion. Lastly, a combination of all rest area types needs to be taken into account when considering spacing intervals, together with the existence of in-town facilities and other commercially-run facilities.
On dual carriageway roads, it is recommended that rest areas be duplicated to offer motorists equal stopping opportunities in both directions. In cases where it is not feasible to provide duplicate rest areas (either due to insufficient funding or demand), rest areas should be staggered, so as to discourage cross-median vehicular movements and to deter motorists from parking on the road shoulder and walking across the carriageway to access the rest area on the opposite side of the road.
On single carriageway roads, the need for duplication of rest area sites should be dependent on factors such as the traffic volume on the route, the type of vehicles using the rest area facilities and the type of traffic turning. For instance, if it is known that the vehicle types utilising the road would have difficulty crossing the road into a rest area or traffic volumes on the road are high enough to cause vehicles crossing through oncoming traffic to access the rest area to become a safety concern, duplication may be warranted.
Capacity needs to be considered for each rest area individually, for each individual route. The required capacity for a rest area can be determined based on current and future traffic volumes and light vehicle-heavy vehicle compositions, and also the likely stopping duration of those vehicles. Furthermore, if the rest area of concern is intended to be available for 24-hour/overnight stops, provision of greater capacity is recommended. This is because a rest area that is heavily occupied by those enjoying free overnight stays becomes unavailable for use by motorists suffering genuine fatigue. An inability to stop at rest areas as and when required may contribute to accidents that could have otherwise been avoided. This is particularly important to rest areas dedicated to heavy vehicles, as many of these drivers have a legislative requirement to undertake defined rest stops during their work cycle.
It is imperative to consider the strategic function of a route when ascertaining its rest area requirements. This is to ensure that the location and frequency of the rest areas, and the level of facilities provided at each of them is compatible with the strategic role of the route. For instance, routes identified as key freight corridors should ideally have adequate heavy vehicle rest areas to optimise the route's amenity for heavy vehicle drivers.
Therefore, when determining the rest area needs of a route, the factors outlined in this policy should be considered in conjunction with the Main Roads' corporate route strategy for that route. Reference should be made to the Enhanced Link Plan documents prepared for each link constituting the route of interest, for a more precise and localised alignment with Main Roads' vision for the route.
Consideration needs to be given to the availability of commercial facilities, be it in the form of roadhouses or similar facilities or in-town facilities when planning a new rest area or upgrading an existing rest area. To the extent possible, the location and facility level of Main Roads rest areas should complement or promote, rather than conflict or compete with, either commercial or civic sites that are accessible from the network.
Therefore to achieve value for money while still effectively delivering positive fatigue management outcomes, Major Rest areas (overnight 24hrs) in general are not to be constructed in close proximity to civic sites that serve local towns and communities, or where they would provide competition to genuine and easily assessable commercial businesses. Main Roads rest areas should be 'mid-block' 50km (i.e. between towns), and if located close to other operations, should provide facilities that either are not already available at those operations or would enhance the fatigue outcomes of those operations.
In line with this policy, Main Roads rest areas are therefore not intended to provide either a camping place or a place for extended stays (more than 24 hours). Where considered necessary to achieve the required positive fatigue outcomes for users on a route, overnight stops may be permitted in some rest areas. These rest areas will be at the discretion of, and subject to approval by the Regional Manager. At these sites, it is essential to enforce the maximum length of stay of 24 hours, and signage permitting 24-hour stops shall be erected in a prominent position, visible to all motorists entering the rest area. No overnight stops are allowed if there is no such signage. Section 11.2.6 outlines details on signage requirements for '24-hour' rest areas.
Consideration should be given to reserving or acquiring land required to allow an existing rest are to be either expanded or upgraded or a new rest area to be constructed in the future. When evaluating a potential site to construct a new rest area, accessibility and adaptability for development to meet future demands should always be considered. This is particularly important where budgetary constraints exist and it is not feasible to construct the rest area to its ultimate design in a single stage.
Each rest area is different, and therefore the level of facilities to be provided should be ascertained as appropriate for each individual site. Some are located on busy highways and therefore will likely require larger capacity and greater range of facilities, while others are in remote areas and only exist to provide essential rest opportunities.
Notwithstanding, the following table summarises the mandatory minimum and optional facilities for each type of rest area:
All facilities provided in the above table shall be accessible for people with disabilities.
Commercial trading at rest areas is not considered in this policy.
All rest areas shall have an appropriate all weather surface. At a minimum, a well-compacted gravel surface is required.
The management of litter on main roads and highways is a State wide responsibility delivered through our Regional offices. Main Roads aim is to achieve a single and consistent litter management approach across the State whilst taking into account the individual needs for each region recognising that differences around customer expectations, weather and realistic levels of service.
The standard table/chair picnic table covered by a typical shade structure providing shelter from sun and rain is the minimum standard required. The number and size of shelter is dependent on expected usage. Where natural shade is not available, it is important to provide larger areas of artificial shade.
Natural shade trees should be provided as much as possible. Where this is not possible, a constructed shelter shall be provided.
Good toilet and effluent dump site designs should include facilities that are durable and vandal resistant. The choice and design of rest area toilets and effluent dump sites should take into consideration the estimated usage level of the rest area and the toilet and dump site's ongoing maintenance requirements. The selection of toilets and dump site should aim to minimise the whole of life cost.
Where sewers are located in close proximity to the rest area, toilets and dump sites should be connected to the sewerage system. However, in cases where the rest area is not adjacent to a sewer (as it is in the majority of cases in the rural road network), onsite domestic wastewater and effluent disposal systems are required. Every wastewater and disposal system requires the approval of relevant local government (LG) and the Department of Health. Please refer to the Department of Health's Wastewater Management webpage for a list of approved systems.
All rest areas shall have appropriate advanced and at-location signage for motorists as outlined in the technical guidelines in Section 11.
Lighting enhances the personal safety of rest area users, by not only aiding security of the users but also by improving the rest area's visibility from the road. Where it is economically viable to install, lighting may be provided. Availability will depend on access to services, but in remote areas, solar lighting could be more appropriate. Where installed, lighting should be maintained at a safe level, but should not be so bright that it would impede sleep. This is particularly crucial for heavy vehicle rest areas. (Refer to Lighting Design Guidelines for Roadways and Public space – Clause 2.12 and Specification 701)
Under the standardised rest area categorisation (i.e. minor, major and heavy vehicle), parking areas previously known as 'information bays' shall now be classified as either minor rest areas or major rest areas with visitor information boards.
Signs should not distract drivers per advertising policy guidelines. (Policy and Application Guidelines for Advertising Signs Within and Beyond State Road Reserves D15#370410)
Visitor information boards serve two purposes:
Inclusion of the following elements in the information board should be considered:
Additionally, tourist information boards may include a separate panel containing advertising of other services and businesses in the district. The space allotted to advertising is however not to exceed 25% of the total area of the information board.
Main Roads is not responsible for the direct provision of mobile phone service at its rest areas, but mobile phone coverage will be considered wherever feasible, in selecting the appropriate location for a new rest area. This aims to maximise the number of rest areas with available coverage, thereby contributing to a positive safety outcome.
For combined-use rest areas (major or heavy vehicle rest areas that are for use by both light and heavy vehicles), wherever possible, the light vehicle and heavy vehicle parking areas should be segregated to avoid internal traffic conflicts between the two vehicle groups. This segregation also helps reduce disturbance of heavy vehicle drivers' rest by other travellers.
In cases where a heavy vehicle rest area is expected to be utilised by various vehicle types including livestock, refrigerated and general freight vehicles, separation of vehicle types may be appropriate to ensure adequate rest is achieved without disturbance from the noises generated by the various vehicle types.
In major and heavy vehicle rest areas, where 24-hour/overnight stops are permitted. Separation between short and long term users is ideal, so as to allow users intending to take longer breaks to sleep without disturbance from shorter-term users. Separation is particularly warranted for 24-hour/overnight heavy vehicle rest areas, to ensure sufficient stopping area for heavy vehicle drivers who have a legal obligation to undertake defined rest stops during their work cycle.
Main Roads will provide public artwork within a rest area subject to the following conditions:
For further information regarding the design of public artwork please refer to the technical guidelines.
It is highly recommended that Main Roads major rest areas be uniquely named. This is to assist all road users to plan their rest breaks during their journeys and gauge the progress of their trips. Also, and more critically, rest area naming enables heavy vehicle drivers identify the rest areas in planning and recording their rest breaks in work diaries as required by national fatigue management laws. The naming of each Main Roads rest area is subject to the following conditions:
Following final approval of the proposed name, advice is to be given to Landgate. As present, there is no formal online application process for notifying Landgate of such naming actions, so an email to GeographicNames@landgate.wa.gov.au is appropriate stating coordinate location (decimal degrees, degree minutes and seconds or Australian Map Grid (AMG) reference - either will do), with information on the name and origin. A timeframe of when approval is also required if the names are being submitted prior to formal usage.
Asset Management is an integral part of any organisation. Effective and ongoing management of Main Roads' rest areas is essential in ensuring that they remain functional and attractive to drivers of all vehicle types to use, thereby contributing to the amenity of the Main Roads network and to the improvement of safety outcomes through fatigue management. The management of Main Roads' rest areas employs a two-pronged approach:
Ongoing maintenance of the rest areas plays an important role in the upkeep of the level of service required of these facilities. Important maintenance considerations for rest areas include (but are not restricted to):
Greater level/frequency of maintenance and cleaning of a rest area may be warranted by increased usage levels during the peak holiday periods.
Towns provide access to a range of commercial facilities and as a rule drivers will be encouraged to use in-town facilities as a way of taking a break. However, these public and commercial facilities may not be available on a 24-hour basis.
Given the round-the-clock accessibility of Main Roads rest areas to road users, Main Roads will and can undertake private agreements for the maintenance of rest areas, particularly when the maintenance cost is high. Main Roads may actively seek the assistance of local government authorities, communities, caravan associations, other government departments, pastoralists and other relevant stakeholders to be involved in the ongoing maintenance of remotely located rest areas. These private agreements shall be conducted at the discretion of each individual region.
In entering into these agreements, Main Roads is able to meet financial constraints while not compromising the level of amenity available to rest area users.
For rest areas with visitor information boards, Main Roads and the relevant LG are responsible for the maintenance of elements of the rest area as listed below:
Rest Area Data Management Corporately, all assets are required to be entered into Main Roads' IRIS. The data entry process is managed by the Asset & Geospatial Information (AGI) Branch. All details regarding the requirements for rest area data entry can be found on the Road Information Centre (RIC).
Maps for location of roadside amenities and rest areas along state roads are given on the Main Roads website. (www.mainroads.wa.gov.au > Using Roads > Touring WA and Maps > Rest Areas and Amenities).
Rest Areas shall be designed to ensure that turning vehicles do not interrupt the safe operation and freedom of movement of through traffic. This may not be feasible for large heavy vehicles such as road trains. Site investigation is an essential step in the preliminary design stage. A useful method of carrying out site investigation is to use a standardised check-list to ensure the investigation is undertaken in a consistent manner, enabling comparison between site options and the selection of the most appropriate site. An example of a standardised checklist for site investigation is attached in Appendix 1.
The minimum separation between through traffic lanes and the edge of the parking area of the rest area should be the clear zone as defined in the MRWA Supplement to Austroads Guide to Road Design – Part 6. If the minimum clear zone cannot be achieved, a risk assessment may be required in order to check if a roadside safety barrier is required.
Undertake site planning to retain and enhance visual quality of the site and surroundings. Screening of Rest Area with shrubs and trees is recommended to minimise disruption to users of the facility by through traffic and to visually enhance the through road alignment. Partial screening, rather than full screening, is desirable so the site is still visible from the through road and perceived by road users as safe to stop at.
188.8.131.52. Rest Area Layout
Rest Area shall be designed to accommodate swept path of the design vehicle that will be using the Rest Area.
The carriageway through the parking area shall be of sufficient width for manoeuvring of design vehicles when parking and leaving.
The parking area shall be of adequate size and arrangement to accommodate the anticipated number of design vehicles.
Parking spaces, whether parallel, diagonal or at right angles shall meet the minimum standards specified in Austroads' Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice Part 11 - Parking. It is recommended to provide separate parking spaces for passenger and heavy vehicles where possible.
184.108.40.206. Design Speed
The design speed for vehicle travel within the rest area should be considered in conjunction with the type of facility and the location within the facility. Rest area should be designed to ensure that potential conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians is minimised and that any necessary interaction occurs at a very low speed.
220.127.116.11.Typical Cross Section
Refer to Main Roads Standard Drawing No. 200431-0005 and 200431-0006
Flat grade is preferred, specifically for heavy vehicles.
18.104.22.168. Sight Distance
Safe Intersection Sight Distance (SISD) for the entry/exit points shall be provided.
22.214.171.124. Exit Angle
Angles of exits should be designed at 70 degree or greater. Typical off-road parking bay details are shown on Standard Drawing No 200431-0005 and 200431-0006
126.96.36.199. Auxiliary Lane
Auxiliary lanes may be provided if the warrants in Austroads Guide to Road Design – Part 4A Unsignalised and Signalised Intersections are met.
188.8.131.52. Sealed Area
The entrances and exits shall be sealed at least 2m from the edge if connected to a sealed through road.
The drainage standard for stopping places shall be the same as for the adjacent road. If the site is located adjacent to sensitive water bodies or there are environmental considerations, stormwater pollutant traps (gross pollutant traps and/or oil and fine sediment traps) should be considered as part of the design.
Sufficient advance and at-location rest area signposting should be provided to enable drivers with adequate opportunity to decide to use a rest area and act accordingly in a safe manner. Signposting of all Main Roads rest areas should generally be in accordance with Australian Standards AS 1742.6: Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices – Tourist and Services Signs.
Main Roads implements the following exceptions and enhancements to AS 1742.6:
Facilities to be provided within the Rest Area are listed in the Policy.
To meet disability requirements as per AS 1428. Picnic tables should be designed to allow wheelchair users to wheel under the end of table (Figure 5). The surface should be stable, firm, even, relatively smooth, slip resistant and have sufficient coefficient of friction (Austroads Part 13 - Pedestrians).
FIGURE 1: PICNIC TABLE DIMENSIONS TO ALLOW FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
(ii) Shelters and other structures within the Rest Area are site specific but generally the design should consider the following:
The sign structure should be designed in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards and not merely a hoarding. The advertising space may include a separate panel and should be framed in some manner, preferably with a canopy and divided into panels of acceptable size for the display of individual advertisements. The overall size of the structure shall be restricted.
If litter bins are to be installed, they shall be in accordance with Main Roads Drawing 9134-4331.
All public artwork designs for the sign panel and posts should be designed in accordance with relevant Main Roads and Australian Standards. All public artwork shall be placed such that it does not impact the public. The overall content is to be region specific but should consider the following;
All public artwork is to be endorsed by the Regional Manager and Approved by the Executive Director Regional Services. Details shall be provided as to why it was chosen and designs whether they are of signs or structures need to have been reviewed by Road and Traffic Engineering.
Rest Areas shall have an all-weather surface for areas provided for motor vehicles. When gravel sheeting will not provide an all-weather surface, or maintenance costs are high, consideration should be given to sealing the rest area. Consideration should also be given to sealing the areas provided for motor vehicles where facilities provided are accessible by people with disabilities.
A hardstand area should be adequate to accommodate parked vehicles and turning manoeuvres of vehicles coming or leaving the facility. The hardstand and access roads must be at least gravel sheeted to minimum thickness of 100 mm. In some situations a pavement design may need to be undertaken to confirm the required pavement thickness, particularly when Heavy Vehicles will use the facility.
The procedure outlined in Main Roads Environment Branches Guideline titled "Environmental Assessment and Approval Document D12#153454" should be followed regarding the installation of sanitary facilities and the disposal of effluent from them. When sanitary facilities are to be installed, the WA Department of Health's approval is required.
Undertake site planning to retain existing vegetation (eg for shade purposes) where practical and enhance the visual quality of the site by landscaping and the visual design of structures and furniture.