Further truck restrictions announced for Melbourne inner west
Interim measures applauded, but longer term solution still sought.
Trucks will be kept out of a key school zone areas in Melbourne’s inner west during pick-up and drop-off times, under new proposals announced last night.
In addition to existing night curfews, heavy vehicles will also be banned from Somerville Road in Yarraville during school opening and closing hours. The night curfew will also extend to nearby Moore Street.
Two-lane Somerville Road is part of a local road route connecting Geelong Road with the West Gate Freeway. It runs parallel to Francis Street which also has a night-time curfew on trucks.
Victoria’s Parliament will need to pass the new restrictions before they take effect, but it is expected the measures will be in place by the start of the next school year. ‘
Martin Wurt from the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group (MTAG) says the bans are a welcome result of new cooperation between state and local governments, transport businesses, and residents.
"The community has been asking for interim measures and these are a very useful step," he says.
Wurt says MTAG is particularly pleased to be working with the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) for the first time, noting that a recent change in leadership had helped to create a more co-operative environment.
The VTA has welcomed the proposed restrictions on trucks as a "common-sense" approach.
"The industry agrees that greater caution by all road users should be taken around schools, particularly during peak periods – and truck movements should be limited during night time hours in residential areas," CEO Peter Anderson says.
But he adds that trucks on local roads will continue to be an issue until new practical infrastructure is delivered.
"The VTA would applaud any projects that increase road safety and keep traffic moving, but sees the only option that would ensure this in the long run is the delivery of a second river crossing. Until that happens, trucks will still find their way to and from the Port of Melbourne along local roads," Anderson says.
Both major parties have proposals in this area ahead of the November 29 state election, with Labor proposing a series of new on and off ramps to the Westgate Freeway, and the Government promising delivery of a second river crossing through the second stage of its East-West Link project.
Wurt says both proposals will succeed in getting trucks off local roads, but were each planned for quite far in to the future. In the meantime, residents will continue to advocate for more interim measures, including to ensure heavy vehicles using the area are checked for safety and pollution standards.