Trailer Magazine

VTA and MTAG join forces to improve safety in the inner west

  • Posted on Thursday 13th, September 2018.

A plan to incentivise lower emission trucks as a condition to sanction their passage through areas with truck curfews in Melbourne’s inner west has been proposed by the Victorian Transport Authority (VTA) and the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group (MTAG).

Under the ‘Maribyrnong Cleaner Freight Initiative’, access times for trucks on Francis Street, Somerville Road and Moore Street in Yarraville would be increased for accredited operators and reduced for those without accreditation.

An additional hour would be granted to accredited operators every day during the week and no further charges would be incurred on weekends.

Increased access restrictions would be applied to unaccredited operators by up to two hours per day during the week and two hours on weekends under the plan.

Developed to address concerns of residents regarding heavy vehicle operation in the City of Maribyrnong, the ‘Maribyrnong Cleaner Freight Initiative’ has been devised ahead of permanent restrictions floated by the Andrews Government once the West Gate Tunnel is completed.

Changes to local government bylaws should enable council and VicRoads to enforce the plan in which drivers will be required to carry a card for certification purposes with a visible identifier displayed on vehicles for trucks that qualify for curfew exemptions.

Local deliveries and locally based operators, reportedly, won’t be affected by the curfews.

Approvals would be granted to prime movers with low emission Euro 5 compliant or greater engines.

Exhausts, as part of the proposed requirements, would be fitted with emission control systems and highly-reflective conspicuity tape a mandatory obligation for dangerous goods placarded vehicles.

Accredited operators would also be fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Data collected from it, as part of the enforcement and compliance, would be made available for third party review.

Under the plan, Buckley Street and Williamstown Road would see an introduction of curfews and reduced speed limits of 50 km/h applied to all vehicles using gazetted freight routes in the City of Maribyrnong.

Peter Anderson, VTA CEO said the transport industry was showing leadership and creating greater harmony between residents and freight operators. According to a statement issued today the ‘Maribyrnong Cleaner Freight Initiative’ will increase standards and provide productivity gains for accredited operators.

“This visionary plan we have developed with MTAG addresses the safety and environmental concerns of residents and equips drivers with a specific skills-set for operating in residential communities,” said Anderson.

“Productivity gains accredited operators will receive from having longer access to curfewed roads will offset criteria they will have to meet to qualify,” he said.

“The community also benefits from trucks being replaced by younger, more efficient fleets operated by drivers who have had specialist training covering local freight routes, bridges, school zones, bicycle routes and noise abatement.”

“This Initiative is a huge leap forward in finding solutions agreeable to both sides,” said Samantha McArthur MTAG President.

“We really welcome this opportunity to work alongside the VTA,” she said.

“MTAG and the community have been calling out for measures to modernise the trucks in our area for years. This initiative will, for the first time in Victoria, start to initiate this much needed change.”

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