Policy and Guidelines for Rest Areas



1 Purpose of Guidelines

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.

2 Scope of Guidelines

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 be occur

3 Definitions

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

4 Background

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.

5 Types of Rest areas

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:

5.1 Minor Rest Area

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.

5.2 Major Rest Area

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.

5.3 Heavy Vehicle Rest Area

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.

6 Strategic Planning of Rest 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.

6.1 Spacing

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:

  • North West Coastal Highway at the intersection of Ajana Road / Kalbarri Road,
  • Great Northern Highway at the eastern boundary of Wubin Townsite,
  • Geraldton Mt Magnet Road at the eastern boundary of Mullewa Townsite,
  • Great Eastern Highway at the eastern boundary of Southern Cross Townsite,
  • South Coast Highway at the eastern boundary of Jerramungup Townsite,

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

6.1.1 Inner Zone Spacing

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 120km for heavy vehicle rest areas. A tolerance of 5km is allowed to ascertain suitable locations.

6.1.2 Outer Zone Spacing

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 140km 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.

6.1.3 Rest Area Duplication

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.   

6.2 Capacity

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.

6.3 Strategic Route Function

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.

6.4 Commercial Conflict

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.

6.5 Future Planning

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.

7 Provision of Facilities

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:


Minor Rest Area

Major Rest Area

Heavy Vehicle Rest Area

All-Weather Surface




Litter Management




Tables and Chairs




Constructed Shelter




Natural Shade








Effluent Dump Site












Visitor Information Board




Light Vehicle/Heavy Vehicle Separation




Long Term/Short Term User Separation




Public Artwork




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.

7.1 All Weather Surface

All rest areas shall have an appropriate all weather surface. At a minimum, a well-compacted gravel surface is required.

7.2 Litter Management

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.

7.3 Table, Chairs and Shelter

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.

7.4 Natural Shade

Natural shade trees should be provided as much as possible. Where this is not possible, a constructed shelter shall be provided.

7.5 Toilets & Effluent Dump Sites

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.

7.6 Signage

All rest areas shall have appropriate advanced and at-location signage for motorists as outlined in the technical guidelines in Section 11.

7.7 Lighting

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)

7.8 Visitor Information Boards

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)

Visitor information boards serve two purposes:

  • Provide local information to tourists visiting the area
  • Assist in the control of advertising signs on or in the vicinity of rural State Roads.

The provision of a visitor information board in a rest area, or the construction of a rest area with a visitor information board, is subject to agreement between Main Roads and the relevant LG on the following breakdown of responsibilities of the respective parties for the particular rest area:

Main Roads Responsibilities

LG Responsibilities


  • Contribute 2/3 of the cost of constructing the rest area’s sealed surface area, kerbing and drainage


  • Contribute 1/3 of the cost of constructing the rest area’s sealed surface area, kerbing and drainage
  • Contribute the full cost of constructing the information board structure, landscaping and all other additional facilities in the rest area


  • Select rest area site in conjunction with the LG
  • Prepare design drawings that are acceptable to the LG for the rest area’s layout, including location of information board structure, landscaping and location of other facilities proposed by the LG. The minimum design vehicle shall be a car plus caravan combination.



Refer to Section 9.1.3 Maintenance of Rest Areas with Visitor Information Boards for maintenance responsibilities of LG & Main Roads for rest areas with information boards.

Inclusion of the following elements in the information board should be considered:

  • Map of the locality, showing the Main Roads and local road network
  • Information on major tourist attractions and tourist services in the local region
  • Information on accommodation, eating establishments or any form of advertising.
  • Aboriginal heritage of the local region
  • Road safety messages (e.g. fatigue management, keeping aware of animals on the road, reminder on correct side of road to be driven)
  • The next rest area 

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.

7.9 Mobile Phone Reception

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.

7.10 Light Vehicle/Heavy Vehicle Separation

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.

7.11 Long Term/Short Term User Separation

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.

7.12 Public Artwork

Main Roads will provide public artwork within a rest area subject to the following conditions:

  • The artwork portrays the historical significance of the local area, provides details of the road network and locality, is a major tourist attraction, or offers a road safety message
  • The artwork content is region-specific
  • The artwork contains sufficient identification and interpretation of the surrounding Aboriginal country, where possible
  • The rest area being considered is a major rest area
  • The artwork has been reviewed by the Public Affairs Coordinator
  • The artwork is approved by Main Roads Executive Director Central & Northern Regions and the applicable Regional Manager

For further information regarding the design of public artwork please refer to the technical guidelines.

8 Naming of Rest Areas

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:

  • The proposed rest area name is a recommendation of the applicable Regional Manager. Justification for the proposed name and location needs to be provided and the proposed name must be demonstrated to have wide community support and meet the Geographical Naming Committee’s (GNC) criteria as stated in the Policies and Standards for Geographical Naming in Western Australia – refer to website www.landgate.wa.gov.au. Main Roads internal rules for naming rest areas (on advice from Landgate) can be found on document D16#438616
  • Should the Region be unsure that the GNC’s criteria have been met the matter can be referred to the Road Classification Manager (Main Roads representative on the GNC).
  • At least one rest area per Region is to have an Aboriginal name to meet commitments in the Reconciliation Action Plan
  • The proposed name requires final approval from the Executive Director Central & Northern Regions or the Executive Director Metropolitan & Southern Regions

Following final approval of the proposed name, advice is to be given  to Landgate. At 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 – any 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.

9 Asset Management

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:

  • Maintenance of the rest areas
  • Collection and management of rest area related data

9.1 Maintenance of Rest Areas  

9.1.1 Scope of Maintenance

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):

  • Regular emptying of litter bins if installed
  • Maintenance of shelters, tables and chairs
  • Landscaping maintenance
  • Toilet maintenance – cleaning, waste disposal, routine repairs of damages caused by vandalism
  • Upkeep of the all-weather surface (gravel or seal) at a safe and trafficable standard
  • Maintenance of all signage – kept in as good condition as possible, up to date with current signage standards and updated accordingly to reflect any changes in facilities within the rest area

Greater level/frequency of maintenance and cleaning of a rest area may be warranted by increased usage levels during the peak holiday periods.

9.1.2 Third Party Agreements

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.

9.1.3 Maintenance of Rest Areas with Visitor Information Boards

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:

Main Roads


  • Sealed surface areas


  • Information board structure
  • Landscaping
  • Regular emptying of litter bins and general upkeep of the area surrounding the information board
  • Unsealed surface areas
  • All kerbing and all drainage
  • Administration of information displayed on the board


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).

10 Map Showing Rest Areas

Maps for location of roadside amenities and rest areas along state roads are given on the Main Roads website.

11 Design Guidelines

11.1 General

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.

11.2 Design Criteria

11.2.1 General Factors

  • Adds value to local attractions, scenic areas, rest opportunities, safe journey.
  • Shall be serviceable for all year round (i.e. not to be placed in areas susceptible to flooding).
  • Rest Areas at the bottom of a hill or halfway up a hill or on a horizontal curve are generally inappropriate. Straight sections prior to downgrades, but with good sight distance are preferred. This will enable all vehicles, in particular heavy vehicles, improve egress when leaving or re-entering traffic flow;
  • Heavy vehicles requirements.
  • Topography (grade, accessibility).
  • Environmental impacts.
  • Quiet location
  • Economics (cost of land).

11.2.2 Rest Area Offset

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.  

11.2.3 Site Screening

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.  

11.2.4 Geometric Design  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.

Turn around facility for heavy vehicle rest area to avoid fire, flooding or similar hazards ahead could be considered based on regional experience. Where turn around facility is required, design vehicle turning template for right turn out at rest area exit needs to be checked.  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.  Typical Cross Section

Refer to Main Roads Standard Drawing No. 200431-0005 and 200431-0006  Grade

Flat grade is preferred, specifically for heavy vehicles.  Sight Distance

Safe Intersection Sight Distance (SISD) for the entry/exit points shall be provided.  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  Auxiliary Lane

Auxiliary lanes may be provided if the warrants in Austroads Guide to Road Design – Part 4A Unsignalised and Signalised Intersections are met.  Sealed Area

The entrances and exits shall be sealed at least 2m from the edge if connected to a sealed through road.

11.2.5 Drainage

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.

11.2.6 Signposting

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:

  • Advance and position signs indicating a single service only shall consist of a 600mm x 600mm G7-6-1 sign without the arrow (the MR-SM series in the Main Roads Signs Index), and an appropriate modular auxiliary plate (MR-SMAX series in the Main Roads Signs Index).
  • If the rest area is located on the left side of the road, then the “ON LEFT” wording is omitted if the rest area’s location is visibly obvious to approaching drivers.
  • In addition to the advance sign located 300m prior to a rest area, another advance sign is required at 2km in advance of the facility. There is allowance for the 2km distance to be reduced to 1km, where appropriate. The “300m” wording shall be replaced by either the “1km” or “2km” wording accordingly.
  • The service symbols used on rest area advance and position signs shall be restricted to the following (Main Roads Road Service Sign Number shown in brackets ):
    • Rest area (MR-SM-12)
    • Toilets (MR-SM-16 and MR-SM-33)
    • Truck parking (MR-SM-13) for rest areas that accommodate heavy vehicle parking
    • Rest areas not suitable for heavy vehicles (MR-SM-23)
    • Information (MR-SM-4) for rest areas with an information board
    • Rest shelter (MR-SM-28) for rest areas that provide man-made shelter structures
    • Effluent dump site (MR-SM-32) for rest areas that provide effluent dump site facilities (usually at town Caravan Parks)
  • If a rest area is named (as per the requirements outlined in the Policy document), the rest area’s name is to be indicated on all advance and position signs. A drop tag bearing the name of the rest area (MR-SMAX-10 in the Main Roads Service Sign Numbers) shall be installed below the advance and position signs.
  • Rest areas where 24-hour/overnight stays are permitted shall have the MR-SG-18 information sign installed at a prominent position within the rest area, where all motorists entering the rest area can see.

11.3 Technical Specifications for Facilities

Facilities to be provided within the Rest Area are listed in the Policy.

11.3.1 Table, Chairs/ Shelter

  • Picnic table and accompanying benches with sufficient capacity for number of patrons likely at any one time (minimum 6 people). Suggested minimum dimensions for tables are 1800 x 700.
  • To be able to withstand environmental and weather conditions.

To meet disability requirements as per AS 1428.2.  Picnic tables should be designed to allow wheelchair users to wheel under the end of table (Figure 2). The surface should be stable, firm, even, relatively smooth, slip resistant and have sufficient coefficient of friction (Austroads Part 6A – Paths for Walking and Cycling).

  • To meet structural requirements, (eg wind loads, dynamic loading, adequate foundation, durability etc.).
  • To minimise maintenance requirements, (eg white ant treatment, access for cleaning, etc.).
  • To be vandal resistant, and
  • Visual design is to be in context with the surroundings (eg in the use of materials, the design form and design finishes.)



(ii)   Shelters and other structures within the Rest Area are site specific but generally the design should consider the following:

  • Structurally sound design for the specific site (wind loads, foundation, aggressive environment, vandals etc.);
  • Capacity should be adequate for expected number of users (minimum 6 people);
  • Visually pleasing structures that blend into the surrounding environment;
  • Meet the needs of people with disabilities (approach paths and kerb ramps, surface, doorway circulation space, sanitary facilities, etc. - AS 1428);
  • Accessible for all weather conditions;
  • Pathways are to be located to avoid any impacts on adjacent tree root systems.

11.3.2  Information Board

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.

11.3.3 Toilets & Effluent Dump Sites

  • In areas where the supply of water for the operation of a standard septic system toilet is a problem, a waterless composting toilet system or a hybrid system may be considered as an alternative. Note the toilet system selected needs to be on the WA Department of Health's list of approved alternative toilet systems. For further guidance on the selection of an appropriate toilet system refer to the Plant Manager in the Regional Support Branch.
  • Pathways are to be located to avoid any impacts on adjacent tree root systems.
  • To be able to withstand environmental and weather conditions.
  • To meet disability requirements as per AS 1428. The surface should be stable, firm, even, relatively smooth, slip resistant and have sufficient coefficient of friction (Austroads Part 13 - Pedestrians).
  • To meet structural requirements, (eg wind loads, dynamic loading, adequate foundation, durability etc.).
  • To minimise maintenance requirements, (eg white ant treatment, access for cleaning, etc.).
  • To be vandal resistant, and
  • Visual design is to be in context with the surroundings (eg in the use of materials, the design form and design finishes.)

11.3.4 Litter Bins

If litter bins are to be installed, they shall be in accordance with Main Roads Drawing 9134-4331-2

11.3.5 Public Artwork

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;

    • The road network/locality map/road history
    • Road safety messages (i.e. fatigue, animals on the road etc.)
    • Major tourist attractions
    • Identification and interpretation of the surrounding Aboriginal nation
    • The next rest area
    • Use of rest areas (i.e. littering, fire safety, camping etc.)
    • Main Roads or surrounding area history.

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.

11.3.6 All Weather Surface

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.

11.4 Environmental

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.

Acknowledgement of country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.

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