Outcry as Baillieu ignores Truck Action Plan

Cries for the removal of trucks from Melbourne's inner west have been ignored

By Ruza Zivkusic | May 5, 2011

Cries for the removal of trucks from Melbourne’s inner west have been ignored, with the Victorian Budget revealing no plans to take them off residential streets.

A $380 million Truck Action Plan put forward by the previous government to remove trucks from residential streets still remains under review.

Victorian Greens MP Colleen Hartland has slammed the decision, saying the western suburbs have once again been ignored.

"It’s incredibly frustrating for residents and also must be quite frustrating for truck drivers because if they had a quick easy way of getting in and out of the Port [of Melbourne] it would be much better for them as well," she says.

"Thousands of trucks will continue to roar past people’s front doors, polluting the air they breathe as there is no funding for stage 1 of the Truck Action Plan – construction of ramps connecting the West Gate Freeway and Hyde Street to reduce the number of trucks on residential streets.

"The ramps were costed at $380 million but this year’s budget has only $15 million allocated to the plan. The ramps would reduce the number of trucks using Francis Street and Somerville Road by around 70 percent, that’s 5000 fewer trucks each day."

Maribyrnong Truck Action Group (MTAG) President Peter Knight says the residents are disappointed.

"The government has approved a lot of new residential development in Francis Street. It’s unbelievable that they haven’t considered the impacts of that extra traffic on what’s already a frustrating situation," Knight says.

"The best solution to the problem is the ramps from the West Gate Bridge to the port. It’s a solution that everybody can agree with. The Liberal Party has stated support in the past, so has the Labor party and the Greens. It works for transport workers and it works for the residents.

"The government needs to get on with it."

Proposed road network improvements in the plan would reduce truck volumes on Francis Street and Somerville Road in Yarraville by up to 70 percent and would see an upgrade of Hyde Street and Whitehall Street and strengthening of Shepherd Bridge, which carries Footscray Road across the Maribyrnong River.

The plans were proposed in 2009.

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