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Understanding Swept Path Assessments

What is a swept path/turning circle diagram/vehicle manoeuvring simulation and why are Council asking me for one? Answer below (5-minute read)

Understanding Swept Path Assessments: Demonstrating that Your Design Works

Swept path assessments play a crucial role in our services by ensuring the safe and efficient movement of vehicles within the proposed vehicle operating areas. In this article, we will explore the process of swept path assessments and their significance in the field of traffic engineering.

What are Swept Path Assessments?

Swept path assessments involve analysing the path taken by a vehicle as it navigates through various roadway or carpark sections. By considering vehicle dimensions, turning radii, and road geometry, these assessments determine whether a vehicle can safely manoeuvre through a layout or into/out of car parking spaces without encroaching on obstacles or encumbrances.

When do I need a Swept Path Assessment?

Swept path assessment are commonly required in various situations and are recognised as an essential component of Traffic Impact Assessments (TIA).

One of the primary reasons for conducting a swept path assessment is to demonstrate that your design works in real-world conditions. It allows you to visualise how vehicles will manoeuvre within the proposed layout, identifying any potential conflicts or limitations.

Furthermore, swept path assessments are required under the Australian Standard AS2890.1:2004 for the design of off-street car parking facilities. Councils and local government authorities typically request swept path assessments as part of the permit application process, ensuring that your design aligns with the necessary guidelines.

We recommend conducting swept path assessments early in the design process to define vehicle operating areas from the start. By incorporating these assessments at an early stage, you can make informed decisions and avoid costly design modifications later on. This proactive approach allows you to optimize the design, address any potential issues, and streamline the approval process.

What is the Process in Preparing Swept Path Assessments?

1.   The Base File: One of the crucial initial steps is to create a comprehensive and accurate base file. This base file serves as the foundation for the assessment and provides a detailed representation of the existing conditions and proposed design.

The best base file for a swept path assessment is a feature survey that captures the existing conditions with high precision. This survey includes accurate measurements of road widths, curb lines and other relevant features. It forms the basis for creating an accurate digital representation of the site conditions.

In addition to a feature survey, high-quality recent aerial photographs can also be used as the base file. These photographs provide an aerial view of the site and help in capturing additional details, such as surrounding buildings, vegetation, and topographical features.


2. Select Design Vehicles:  The next crucial step in a swept path assessment is determining the appropriate design vehicle. The design vehicle represents the largest or most critical vehicle that will be using the proposed road or site.

The selection of the design vehicle is essential as it directly influences the assessment outcomes. The design vehicle should accurately represent the vehicles expected to use the facility, taking into account their dimensions, turning radii, and other critical parameters. For the assessment of car parks, the design vehicles utilsing typically includes the B85 and B99 design vehicles from Australian Standard AS2890.1:2004.  It’s also important to consider waste collection vehicles and emergency services.

3. Run the Simulation:  In the next step of the swept path assessment process, we will delve into the analysis of vehicle movements and the identification of potential conflicts or limitations. We employ state-of-the-art software designed for swept path analysis. Through powerful simulations, we evaluate vehicle movements and potential conflicts with the surrounding environment.

4. Identifying Required Modifications: Based on the assessment results, our experienced traffic engineers recommend necessary modifications to the design. These adjustments may include width modifications, curb radii adjustments, or the provision of splays. The goal is to ensure compliance with relevant standards and guidelines and achieve a layout that works.

Talk to us about your specific Project

If you are embarking on a project that involves on-site vehicle access and car parking, ensure the efficiency of your traffic operations with Quantum Traffic's swept path assessment services. Our team of experienced traffic engineering professionals is ready to assist you every step of the way.

For a comprehensive swept path assessment tailored to your specific project needs, give us a call today at 1300 757 016. Alternatively, you can reach us via email at Let us help you demonstrate that your design works and meets the necessary standards, ensuring a smooth and successful project outcome.

Don't leave the efficiency of your project to chance. Contact Quantum Traffic and experience the difference our expertise can make in optimising your traffic operations.

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