Truck traffic figures wanted

Figures from a study monitoring truck movements in Melbourne's inner west are yet to be released by the Victorian Government

By Ruza Zivkusic | August 17, 2011

Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder is being urged to release details of truck traffic movements in Melbourne’s inner west.

Williamstown MP Wade Noonan wants the counts that were conducted in March to be released to the public.

"These truck counts were first introduced in 2002 as part of a joint arrangement between VicRoads, Hobsons Bay City Council and Maribyrnong City Council following the previous Labor Government’s introduction of truck curfews across the evening and weekend periods," Noonan says.

"This information has always been a valuable resource to the community and has supplied VicRoads with important information to assist it with its monitoring and enforcement work."

General traffic levels and truck movements were monitored during a two-week period earlier this year.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Noonan says past data from the same study shows that in any 24-hour period there are up to 12,000 vehicles passing through the area.

"I am advised that VicRoads carries out its studies in separate locations to the councils, with monitoring focusing on the three busiest truck routes through residential areas, specifically Buckley Street, Francis Street and Somerville Road.

"As the Maribyrnong Council is a partner in this data collection process, I must admit to being surprised to learn that it was having trouble accessing the 2011 results," he adds.

"The importance and status of this data provide a clear and strong impetus to act to reduce truck traffic on residential streets through the provision of alternative routes.

"It was this knowledge that led Sir Rod Eddington to recommend a Truck Action Plan in the 2008 Victorian Transport Plan, which would include building a new connection from the West Gate Freeway to Hyde and Whitehall Streets and linking it to the Port of Melbourne.

"It was this recommendation that led the previous Labor Government to commit $40 million to begin the first of the three parts of this project."

The proposed construction would reduce the number of trucks on Francis Street and Somerville Road by up to 70 percent, which is 5000 trucks each day, according to VicRoads.

"However, the only action we get from this Baillieu Government is for the Truck Action Plan to be sent off for a review," Noonan says.

"The minister should remember that it was his party that said it would be open, transparent and accountable in government, so he should release these traffic counts immediately."

ATN is awaiting responses from the minister’s office on this and other issues.

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