TOUGH GIG: Access to CBDs is increasingly difficult for heavy vehicles.
TOUGH GIG: Access to CBDs is increasingly difficult for heavy vehicles.

Truck restrictions blasted

THE Australian Logistics Council has hit out against increasing restrictions on vehicular access in CBD areas across Australia.

It suggests these restrictions make it increasingly difficult for the freight logistics industry to serve consumers and businesses.

"To put it bluntly, Australia's cities are not freight-friendly," ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff said.

"This is an inevitable consequence of planning systems that do not properly account for freight movement .

"Australia is already one of the most highly urbanised countries in the world and a significant proportion of the residential and employment growth projected to occur in the years ahead will be heavily concentrated in CBD areas.

"Accordingly, if we wish to grow our cities and ensure their continuing functionality and amenity, we must adopt policies which can support an increasing freight task."

Mr Kilgariff noted that frustratingly that wasn't the case.

"Increasingly many of our urban planning systems and policy-makers pursue policies that impede urban freight delivery, especially in CBD areas, by limiting access for heavy vehicles," he said.

"A central business district is, first and foremost, a place of business. If we want businesses to grow and create jobs, then ensuring they can get their goods delivered in a timely fashionis a fairly basic requirement.

"At the moment, a lack of adequate street loading zones, as well as new residential and commercial buildings with poor (or non-existent) freight delivery facilities, are already making CBD delivery a more cumbersome and costly exercise.

"Banning vehicles from city centres altogether - as some advocate - is neither realistic nor desirable. Suggestions that bicycle deliveries alone could accommodate the freight needs of CBD businesses and residents in high-rise CBD apartment complexes are pure fantasy.

"You cannot deliver a large-screen TV or a family's weekly groceries using a bicycle. Our planning systems must facilitate efficient freight movement, while also protecting amenity."

Mr Kilgariff outlined someof the ALC's suggestions to alleviate the problems.

"Freight Doesn't Vote - ALC's submission to the Discussion Paper on National Freight and SupplyChain Priorities - includes several suggestionsfrom industry for dealing with the challenges of CBD freight delivery, including reverse curfews, trialling urban consolidation stations and establishing freight-only infrastructure to facilitate more efficient deliveries," hesaid.

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