Harvest puts York roads under pressure

Council says more funds needed to handle truck concentration

Harvest puts York roads under pressure
York Shire wants more funding for roads

Key roads in a Western Australian inland town are crumbling following last year’s harvest season which saw truck traffic peak from 800 to 3,000 a day.

York Shire Chief Executive Ray Hooper is calling for a greater slice of road funding, saying last year’s closure of two rail lines in the Wheatbelt region put further pressure on deteriorating roads.

He expects truck traffic to increase again this year between April and June when the bin-carting period commences.

"It depends on when the ships get in and when they get the berthing rights," Hooper says.

"If it was all done over 365 days of the year, the volumes would be manageable but because of the peak you can have 30 to 40 road trains nose to tail on the roads where there’s no passing lanes, it gets extremely frustrating and the roads just aren’t designed for it."

The council spent $642,000 last year fixing York’s key roads but the sum only covered four kilometres out of a 65 kilometre section that needs urgent attention, he adds.

"The residents are extremely frustrated and concerned about road safety and the operators are disappointed because they can’t perform the way their trucks are designed to do, they’re not getting full efficiency out if it because of the road conditions.

"We’ll be asking that the funds that used to be allocated for maintenance of those sections of rail lines be dedicated immediately to the roads that parallel them."

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