Truck driver's roadside memorial to be moved by RMS
TRUCK driver Will Bush has started a petition to fight Transport NSW's proposed relocation of a roadside memorial for his close mate Adrian 'Ado' Ryan.
Adrian lost his life in a horrifying truck crash in March 2017 at Allens Creek on Picton Road in New South Wales.
To honour his memory and his efforts "to keep Australia moving", Will, who was learning the ropes of the trucking industry from Adrian when he died, built the memorial from different truck parts, including some from Adrian's truck.
When he erected it a few months after the crash, he went straight to the local council and police and "no one had any drama about it being there".
For two years, Will, Adrian's family and friends visited the site regularly to pay their respects and remember Adrian.
Then earlier this week, Transport NSW contacted Will and Adrian's family to tell them the location of the site had been identified as a "safety risk" and the memorial would need to be moved.
The news came as a shock, said Will.
"The memorial has become a critical part of Adrian's family and friends' lives, visiting it, driving past while also contributing to keeping Australia moving, paying their respects to Adrian and reflecting on his life, helping them to get through their grief and keep the mateship alive," he said.
To fight the decision, Will started up a petition on change.org last night, which quickly garnered support from the trucking community, steamrolling past the 5000 signatures target in less than 24 hours.
Will said he was blown away by the support he and Adrian's family received in protest of the memorial's relocation.
Will was told that Transport NSW would relocate the memorial to another area and pay for the relocation costs, but he said it wasn't about the cost.
"They want to move it somewhere up the road and that defeats the purpose of (the memorial) being where it happened," he said.
"It's really important to us that it's there. His old man lives close by and goes there quite a bit, it's a big thing for him as well it plays on his heart pretty hard."
Will said he understood that Transport NSW were trying to make the road safer but didn't understand why that meant the memorial had to be moved, especially because he believed there were no other plans to remove other memorials on the road.
Roads and Maritime Services Southern Regional Director Sam Knight told Big Rigs this afternoon that "Roads and Maritime Services understands and respects the importance of this memorial site, however we have real concerns for the safety of those who are pulling over on the side of the road to visit".
"We will always do whatever we can to help grieving families and friends pay respects to their lost loved ones," he said.
"As such we have offered the family a number of options including moving the memorial to a nearby safer location. We will continue to meet and work closely on finding a suitable solution for them.
"Roads and Maritime will carry out safety upgrade work on that stretch of road in the near future."
Picton Road is a dangerous one with a number of crashes at fatalities reported in the area.
It is also only a 25 minute drive from Razorback, the memorial site for the truck drivers who were involved in the 1979 Razorback Blockade in protest of road taxes, which brought about much-needed changes in the transport industry.
View the RMS roadside tribute policy for the safe effecting of roadside memorials here.