Lovel takes aim at group of eccentrics blocking trucks

By: Jason Whittaker


The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group’s (MTAG) recent blockade of Francis Street in Melbourne was a "disgraceful" act, according to Victorian

The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group’s (MTAG) recent blockade of Francis Street in Melbourne was a "disgraceful" act, according to Victorian Transport Association (VTA) Chief Executive Philip Lovel.

The "marginal group of eccentrics" also put at risk the safety of local communities, Lovel says.

MTAG, which claims road freight is congesting local roads and causing health complications, stood in the middle of the intersections of Francis Street and Williamstown Road blocking traffic.

Although the VTA was forewarned by Victoria Police and VicRoads prior to the stunt, Lovel says the group’s "10 minute tirade on truck traffic was felt across Melbourne" and put the local community at risk.
"Truck traffic was diverted down Somerville Road," he says.
"The truck traffic exemption from this road was lifted for the period of the protest, sending dozens of trucks down an unfamiliar road which has three primary schools on it."

Lovel also called MTAG "selfish", as police were forced to halt regular duties in order to monitor the protest.
"The police advised us they had 40 officers employed to man the nearby intersections and control traffic," he says.
"Imagine the cost of this operation and what was going unattended whilst all these police officers were forced to assist MTAG.

Lovel says the blockade was felt in the wide community, causing delays creating traffic hazards.

He says if the group does not like the area then it can move.
"MTAG are [sic] selfish to think they [sic] can buy into an area which is known for its truck traffic," he says.
"Check the Melway, Francis Street was called Docklands Highway."

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