VTA welcomes north east truck curfew change


VicRoads raises GVM threshold for heavy vehicles during night curfew hours

VTA welcomes north east truck curfew change
Anderson says the North East Link project is the answer to heavy vehicle road access issue in Melbourne's north east.

 

Heavy vehicles with gross vehicle mass (GVM) less than 16.5 tonnes can now access certain roads in the north east of Melbourne during 10pm to 6am owing to a recent decision by VicRoads.

The roads authority has updated the conditions of road access for heavy vehicles following the 12-month night truck curfew trial, which, according to an RACV survey last year, had proved ineffective and increased congestion on the roads during the day.

Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson says although VTA would have preferred to see the end of curfews in the area, it is nevertheless pleased to see the GVM thresholds increase from 4.5 tonnes to 16.5 tonnes.

The new rule applies to:

  • Greensborough Highway – Rosanna Road (Grimshaw Street to Banksia Street)
  • Lower Plenty Road (Greensborough Highway to Waiora Road)
  • Waiora Road (Kingsbury Drive to Bell Street)
  • Waterdale Road (Kingsbury Drive to Bell Street)
  • Lower Plenty Road – Main Road (Wattletree Road to Greensborough Highway)
  • Para Road (Grimshaw Street – Lower Plenty Road)
  • St. Helena Road – Karingal Drive
  • Bolton Street
  • Ryans Road - Wattletree Road.

Opposing the night time curfews, the VTA had earlier stated that road access restrictions resulted in adding time and cost of transporters operating between the Eastern Freeway and Metropolitan Ring Road.

"While we would have preferred the elimination of the curfews altogether, increasing the GVM threshold means that fruit, vegetable and cut flower growers, who run smaller fleets and were penalised most by the curfews, can use these roads to get between their farms and the market in Epping in time for trading," Anderson says.

"It means they can have additional time at home resting or to be with their families, and will save money by not having to go out of their way and pay tolls to get to and from the market."

VicRoads states that the move is based on feedback received from the Community Reference Group (CRG), local councils and industry representatives, including VTA.

"It became quickly apparent that notwithstanding the worse traffic and congestion during the morning peak created by the curfew, noise from air brakes was the major source of angst from the community," Anderson says.

"While we recommended applying the curfew only to larger trucks with air brakes, the VicRoads determination to increase the weight threshold to 16.5 GVM is an acceptable compromise that will address resident concerns."

Anderson says the ‘missing link’ will be the ultimate solution to the issue of heavy vehicles using arterial roads in the north east as it will reduce travel time for freight and improve amenity for local communities.

"The real solution will be the construction of the North East Link, which the community overwhelmingly backs as a way of encouraging heavy vehicles onto larger roads.

"The VTA looks forward to working with the community and other stakeholders as planning for this road begins."

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