NSW vows action on access issues

New government-industry committee set up in NSW to resolve 'last mile' access issues hindering trucking companies

By Brad Gardner | November 25, 2009

A new government-industry committee will be set up to resolve access restrictions in NSW which have limited companies from using higher productivity vehicles.

Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport David Borger has agreed to work with the trucking industry on issues such as higher mass limits (HML) and the use of B-triples and AB-triples in regional NSW.

The new committee was formed in response to a report prepared for the Government on access issues by the Livestock Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) and NatRoad.

It will be established within the Road Freight Advisory Council (RFAC), which is an industry-government body.

The committee will be chaired by a director of the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) and will include a local government representative.

Borger has also agreed to establish another committee within the RFAC to address urban freight concerns.

In its meeting last week, RFAC said better management of urban freight such as the use of night time deliveries has the potential to cut congestion while increasing safety and efficiency.

The group also supported the use of higher productivity vehicles, which can carry more freight per load.

"Council noted the important trials that are now occurring of quiet, low-emissions vehicles and agreed that there is a significant opportunity to deliver ‘win-win’ outcomes for local communities, consumers, motorists and freight customers," the communiqué of the recent RFAC meeting says.

The urban access committee will develop proposals by early next year and will also be chaired by an RTA director.

As reported by ATN, councils have been reluctant to grant access to roads because of a lack of funding.

Berrigan-based operator Baxter Transport has been denied access in some areas despite being enrolled in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) because councils cannot afford the assessments to determine if roads and bridges can support heavier vehicles.

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