VTA, MTAG criticise port study

VTA criticises study of Victoria's ports, saying the issue of empty container parks should be focused on instead

By Ruza Zivkusic | January 16, 2012

Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Phil Lovel has slammed a study of Victoria’s ports, saying the issue of empty container parks should be focused on instead.

The $150,000 report, which looks into the efficiency of the ports of Melbourne, Geelong, Hastings and Portland, will address truck traffic in residential streets surrounding the ports. It will also study port routes.

"They should look at the whole supply chain, not just the stevedores," Lovel says.

"The ships are late and out of schedule, that’s a big issue. The customers have got to change the way they do business – a lot of them are still living in the 1950s."

Maribyrnong Truck Action Group Secretary Martin Wurt says another study of trucks in Melbourne’s inner west is not needed.

"We know we have over 21,000 truck movements in the city of Maribyrnong every day – we have traffic counts done by VicRoads and by Maribyrnong Council every year and we know exactly how many trucks there are on the roads and we need measures to get them off," Martin says.

"There are a lot of short-term things they could be doing right now to get trucks off residential streets. It just needs commitment and we need more curfews and we need to force the trucks onto appropriate roads and get them off narrow congested residential streets."

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

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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