Push continues for higher productivity trucks

VTA says introduction of higher productivity vehicles a priority as documents cite impact of trucks on residential streets

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | February 20, 2012

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is continuing its push for higher productivity freight vehicles to be given greater access to the road network.

VTA Deputy CEO Neil Chambers says the association’s members feel it is a priority for the state’s government to decide how best to introduce the vehicles on specified routes servicing the Port of Melbourne.

"This will include how best in the future we are able to service the western suburbs with HPFVs where there is significant port-related freight activity," Chambers says.

"The use of HPVFs in a safe and productive manner is consistent with the community’s interests in the west (of Melbourne) to see a reduction of overall traffic and safe/efficient road transport operations."

His comments follow the release of documents citing the impact of heavy vehicle traffic on residential streets in Melbourne’s west.

Documents obtained by Willamstown MP Wade Noonan under Freedom of Information show a $450 million project to take trucks off residential streets – known as the Truck Action Plan – was at the "ready to proceed" stage.

"Currently, 80 percent of freight from the port is moved by trucks, which primarily access the port via the arterial road network – Footscray Road, City Link and the West Gate Freeway," the documents say.

"Whilst access to these arterial roads from the north and east is relatively convenient, the route for trucks accessing the port and surrounding precincts from the west involves residential streets in the inner west, resulting in poor social amenity, particularly in relation to noise and air pollution.

"To do nothing will mean significant travel times increases between key shipping facilities in the west and the port precinct, stifling growth of the Port of Melbourne."

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