Vic infrastructure build spurs call for flexible thinking


Unavoidable freight transport delays must be taken into account: CTAA

Vic infrastructure build spurs call for flexible thinking
Work along the West Gate Freeway

 

Melbourne’s transport infrastructure build is increasingly impacting road freight operations, leading to a call for flexibility during the Victorian government’s building blitz, especially around the port.

Victorian government’s efforts to correct decades of underinvestment are hitting their straps, with a heavy focus on the West Gate Tunnel Project and the widening of the West Gate Freeway from eight to 12 lanes.

Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) is concerned at how much appreciation and leeway there will be for operators faced with delay that are out of their control, given that, from yesterday through to the end of February, there are ramp closures and road works affecting the West Gate Freeway (M1) and the Western Ring Road (M80).    

"Delays of over 30 minutes travel time between important freight districts in the West and the Port of Melbourne are already being experienced by CTAA alliance companies, with vital freeway ramps now closed such as those at Millers Road, Geelong Road and the M80 Ring Road leading to major truck detours, in addition to the traffic congestion on the M1 itself," CTAA director Neil Chambers says.

"These are important road works that are necessary to complete the West Gate Tunnel Project as the government has promised. But, the short term pain being inflicted on transport efficiencies shouldn’t be underestimated.

"What we need is patience from all parties in the chain as trucks are very likely to be delayed significantly, leading to late arrivals into key freight nodes such as stevedore terminals, empty container parks, distribution centres and customer premises."


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He notes the CTAA is contacting key parties to ask them to consider these extraordinary circumstances when assessing the impost of penalties applied to transport operators like wrong zone or no-show fees at container stevedore terminals.

"Dialogue between the parties will be extra important at the moment. We hope that the stevedores and empty parks show an appropriate level of empathy for the plight of transport operators during this period of significant disruption," Chambers says.

"We hope that genuine pleas for penalties to be waived are at least considered respectfully, and that all parties work together to assess the impact on import pick-ups, export receivals, and empty container management."

"Equally, transport operators are talking to their customers constantly about the delays that may be experienced affecting container deliveries and pick-ups."

Elsewhere, Metro Tunnel works are affecting transport in the city centre and South Yarra and driving up bus traffic along impacted passenger rail routes, particularly in the eastern and south-eastern suburbs.

 

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