Gay trumpets HML and promises to work with truckers

NSW roads minister endorses expansion of HML network and promises to work closely with trucking to address industry concerns

By Brad Gardner | August 12, 2011

The NSW roads minister has backed higher mass limits as a key plank in boosting safety and productivity and promised closer ties with the trucking industry.

Speaking in Parliament this week, Duncan Gay says his recent decision to add another 600km of road to the HML network will reduce the number of truck movements, in turn cutting freight costs and pollution while helping to prevent the risk of crashes.

Some of the new sections of road opened up to HML include routes on the Monaro and Pacific highways, the Bruxner Way and the Summerland way.

Gay has also junked the Roads and Traffic Authority’s (RTA) long-held refusal to grant trucking companies access to HML maps unless they were enrolled in the maligned Intelligent Access Program (IAP).

He chastised the previous government for allowing the policy to stand, claiming its "ignorant and pigheaded" approach caused a lot of ill-will within the trucking industry.

"Full access to higher mass limit maps on a public website will allow freight carriers to better access the commercial benefits their transport operation may derive from enrolling in the Intelligent Access Program," Gay says.

He claims he is "determined to work closely with industry to right the wrongs of the past", with the first step being the introduction of a new freight division in the soon-to-be created Department of Transport.

"The NSW Government is also acutely aware of calls from the industry to make improvements to the Intelligent Access Program—calls that fell on deaf ears under the previous regime," he says.

Gay told Parliament there are more than 15,000km of state roads approved for HML and that a priority work program is being developed to replace or upgrade key bridges so mass load restrictions can be removed.

"Here is a sensible way to move our freight more cheaply. This will mean fewer truck movements and it will be better for the environment," Gay says of HML.

"This is about making the state operate better."

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