SA's 24/7 clearway plan makes room for truckies

TURNING Adelaide's primary freight routes into 24/7 clearways in an attempt to tackle road congestion and deliver improved economic benefits for South Australia is a key plank of a major blueprint document unveiled by the state's peak transport industry lobby group.

The South Australian Freight Council launched Regulating Freight 2017, its future plan for transport and logistics industry regulation.

It has called on governments to overhaul the current regulation in order to deliver improved economic growth.

"South Australia is facing many new challenges as it confronts a changing economic structure and climate,” SAFC executive officer Evan Knapp said.

"Old industries are in decline. New industries are developing. Technology is rapidly changing the way we do business and the systems and equipment that is available to our industry,” he said.

"An efficient regulatory environment for the transport and logistics sector will benefit all business through reduced cost structures; and every household through reduced costs for consumer goods.

"Regulating Freight 2017 provides a blueprint for how transport regulation should be reformed by governments and transport regulators, and highlights specific urgently required transport regulatory reforms.

''A 'step change' is needed in regulatory thinking for the transport industry, to free us to deliver lower costs to consumers and SA's exporters, as well as better safety outcomes, particularly on our roads.

"In particular, the freight transport industry is looking for improved access for high productivity vehicles across South Australia.

"While it might sound counter-intuitive, bigger trucks save lives by reducing total truck numbers; and also deliver productivity and environmental gains for the benefit of the broader economy.”

Mr Knapp said a major priority was of Regulating Freight 2017 was calling for the removal of roadside parking on key freight corridors and major traffic routes (as defined by DPTI's Functional Hierarchy for SA's Land Transport Network) to alleviate congestion concerns.

He said travel time surveys are showing consistent decline in traffic flows across the board with RAA travel time surveys finding the average travel time along South Road to be 41km/hr in the afternoon peak in 1996, compared with only 27km/hr in 2016. Main North Road afternoon peak speeds have declined from 35km/hr to 27 km/hr over the same time period.

"Parked cars effectively remove a full lane for extensive lengths on some key corridors - and international transport research backs this approach,” he said.

"SAFC is proposing a four year transition time to full 24/7 clearway operation, however morning and evening peak clearways should be implemented immediately.

"The Transport and Logistics industry underpins every aspect of our state economy - every business requires inputs, and the majority also require our services to deliver products to customers and end consumers,” Mr Knapp said.

"Efficient, effective and safe regulation of transport activities is a competitive advantage that as a state (and nation) we cannot afford to ignore,” he said.

"A 2010 study commissioned by SAFC concluded that a 10% efficiency improvement could increase Gross State Product annually by $810 million and result in the order of 8500 new jobs; and more recent national studies have broadly agreed.

"Getting transport and logistics regulation right is an opportunity too big to ignore.”

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