ATA NSW hopeful of solution to Sydney airport rat-run headache

By: Steve Skinner

Port Botany trucks with over-height containers are not allowed to use roads adjacent to the airport

ATA NSW hopeful of solution to Sydney airport rat-run headache
ATA NSW Manager Jodie Broadbent says the association is working with authorities to address restrictions on container trucks.


The New South Wales branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA NSW) is hopeful of a speedy resolution to restrictions on high container trucks around Sydney Airport.

Access to the M5 Freeway – a major artery to Sydney’s trucking and warehousing hubs – is currently blocked to these vehicles because of Sydney Airport’s north-south runways.

The road underneath the southern end of the runways – General Holmes Drive, near Port Botany – has a height limit of 4.3 metres.

And the 'easy' detour to the north – skirting around the opposite side of Sydney Airport via Qantas Drive – is no longer available for trucks carrying high containers.

"The issue arises with planes landing and requiring a clear line of sight to the runway," ATA NSW Manager Jodie Broadbent says.

"Occasionally, if an over-height container is in that space, the clear line of sight is impeded.

"We are working with the relevant authorities to determine a suitable solution, as the alternative route, while legal, is not as safe or environmentally friendly as the route past the airport for vehicles carrying freight up to 4.6m high."

Broadbent says the alternative route on local roads takes up to an extra hour to traverse, runs past a couple of schools and involves a lot of stopping and starting.

"We are hopeful for a resolution prior to April," Broadbent says.

Meanwhile ATA NSW says while the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy has seen long queues disappear from Port Botany access roads, congestion problems have simply moved elsewhere – such as container carriers' depots.

It maintains that the stevedores simply aren’t providing enough slots for trucking operators and argues against peak period pricing as a possible solution.

Get the March edition of ATN for more on container trucking at Australia's ports. Click here to secure your copy.


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