NSW councils reject HML applications

NSW councils are rejecting HML applications for as little as 200 metres of route access.

By Brad Gardner

NSW councils are rejecting Higher Mass Limits (HML) applications for as little as 200 metres of route access.

Trucking operators are being forced to send out multiple vehicles rather than one because of local government fears of a community backlash over having bigger trucks on the road.

Jill Lewis from the NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA NSW) says community perception and council concerns over road damage are responsible for applications, which "most of the time is for 200 metres", being rejected.

She says the applications are primarily concerned with greater access in and around industrial areas.

Lewis is currently meeting with three shire councils in an attempt to convince officials to reconsider their positions.

"They [councils] are fearful of the damage to roads but they don’t realise that the more they reject the offer of HML the more trucks will end up on the road," Lewis says.

"By having more access to HML routes, especially local government roads, we are reducing our emissions by not having as many trucks on the road."

She says more damage is being done by not granting access to B-doubles because, unlike semi-trailers, they are safer, carry more freight and have better weight distribution.

Lewis says one option that may be considered is running HML trucks at night. However, she says this hinges on whether customers are prepared to accept deliveries at all hours.

ATA NSW has also requested the Roads and Traffic Authority to educate councillors on B-doubles in an effort to dispel concerns of the impact the larger vehicles have on local road networks.

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