Older trucks dodge curfew
VICTORIAN Transport Association boss Peter Anderson will continue to lobby state government to give Maribyrnong residents respite from the heavy vehicle traffic plying their streets.
The VTA CEO told Big Rigs he was extremely disappointed that VicRoads’ ‘bureaucrats’ had scuttled key street curfews proposed in the ground-breaking Smart Freight Partnership – Inner West initiative he devised along with the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group (MTAG).
But he said his door will always remain open on this issue and hopes that he can find a “harmonious” solution that will appease all parties.
“The partnership is over in its original context, but discussions have certainly not stopped around the fact that we have community amenities and economic productivity, and how do we harmonise the two,” Mr Anderson said.
“This wasn’t about reducing the number of trucks, or access; it was about better managing and improving the amenity for everyone.”
Under the new ground-breaking proposal, trucks that were more than a decade old, and did not have a low-emission Euro 5 engine or better, would have faced longer curfews, starting at 6pm (instead of 8pm) and ending the following day at 8am (instead of 6am).
This would have applied to an Environment Freight zone along Francis Street, Somerville Road and Williamstown Road in Yarraville and Moore and Buckley streets in Footscray.
Euro 5-rated trucks would have received an extra three hours a day on these roads.
“This was an exercise in bringing the community and industry together and it’s disappointing that the people who could have made the difference, the bureaucrats couldn’t see it, couldn’t understand it and didn’t follow through,” Mr Anderson said.
VicRoads did not respond to our request for an explanation for their abrupt u-turn on the proposal before deadline for this issue.
A disappointed MTAG secretary Martin Wurt told Big Rigs that a resumption of protest blockades along the affected streets is now likely.
“What else can we do after 20 years of campaigning?” Mr Wurt said.
“It’s environmental injustice what we actually confront here with eight million trucks a year running through the city of Maribyrnong.
“These are residential streets, they shouldn’t be used as a freight route for the largest container port in the land.”
Meanwhile, figures obtained under Freedom of Information show two cameras set up to catch out trucks on Hyde St, Yarraville, recorded hundreds of truckies breaking curfew.
Operators can be fined $165 on the spot if caught.
“The West Gate Tunnel has been pitched as another silver bullet solution, but if the government has failed to reduce the number of trucks on our streets using their cameras, how can residents be sure this will be any different?” Victorian Greens MP Sam Hibbins told the Herald Sun.