Another truck count as traffic levels rise

VicRoads to do another count of truck traffic in Melbourne’s west as numbers rise following growth at Port of Melbourne

Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | March 16, 2012

VicRoads is set to do another count of truck traffic in Melbourne’s west as truck numbers rise following the growth at the Port of Melbourne, Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder says.

Responding to a truck curfew enquiry from the Opposition, Mulder says there is "no doubt" that there is going to be an increase in truck traffic on Somerville Road and Francis Street, Yarraville, due to the growth at Port of Melbourne.

"I understand that VicRoads will provide information in relation to the accounts of truck movements in those areas sometime over the next couple of months," Mulder says.

"I should have that information at hand and once I do I will be in a better position to work out whether or not we can conduct a review or whether or not there is anything else we can do in that regard.

"We are seeking $30 million from the Federal Government so that we can connect the Eastern Freeway with the Tullamarine Freeway, the Western Rind Road and connections to ports."

Labor MP Wade Noonan wants the current curfews to be up to task, saying that trucks with a local origin or destination have been exempt from the truck curfew arrangements which were introduced by the previous government in 2002.

"Counts have shown that the truck curfews were relatively successful in reducing truck movements during the curfew hours in the early to mid-2000s but the numbers have remained reasonably steady over the last five years or so," Noonan says.

"I am aware that VicRoads conducts many hours of patrols along these roads. Its compliance and enforcement work is about the only real deterrent to keep drivers and operators in check.

"With truck volumes expected to grow in line with the port’s growth, it’s time to have a closer look at the future of the curfews.

"We need to be sure that the curfews as they currently exist and are enforced are up to the task of keeping trucks off the streets after hours and protecting the amenity of local residents."

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