TWU and MTAG join hands on call for West Gate ramps

Union backs protest group on construction of West Gate ramps to stop trucks using residential streets

By Ruza Zivkusic | September 19, 2011

The Transport Workers Union has backed a protest in Melbourne’s west calling on the state’s government to build freeway ramps on and off the West Gate Bridge to ease traffic congestion.

TWU organiser John Parker says 5000 of the union’s members are stuck in traffic each day in the Yarraville area. He supports ramps off the West Gate Bridge, saying the use of arterial roads is not ideal.

The rally was held in Yarraville and organised by the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group (MTAG). A group representative, Martin Wurt, says ramps are essential given the projected growths of the port and associated container movements.

"It is often that groups like MTAG are against truckies but this isn’t true," Wurt says.

"We know that truckies hate using residential streets and want a proper 24-hour route to the port, and the fact that the TWU is now on board with the coalition gives voice to this. These ramps will be good for residents, good for truckies, good for business and good for the environment."

Parker says his members are finding it hard to do business in the region due to traffic congestion.

"They’d like to see improvements on the road system so that they can do their job more efficiently and to reduce time and pollution," Parker says.

"They’re sitting in a lot of intersections wasting fuel."

Sir Rod Eddington proposed the ramps as part of his 2008 study into Melbourne’s transport needs.

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