Leach Hwy diversion to cost truckies $20m

20/03/2008 - 14:12

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A state government decision to divert trucks off part of Leach Hwy will cost the industry $20 million, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has estimated.

Leach Hwy diversion to cost truckies $20m

A state government decision to divert trucks off part of Leach Hwy will cost the industry $20 million, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has estimated.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced yesterday that the diversion, announced during the 2005 state election, would take effect next week, on Tuesday 25 March.

The diversion is designed to reduce the number of heavy trucks using Leach Hwy through Riverton.

CCI Director Industry Policy Trevor Lovelle called on the minister to reconsider her decision, saying it had more to do with local politics than making roads safer.

 

Two statements are pasted below:

 

WA transport industry efficiency a victim of politics

Statement by CCI Director Industry Policy, Trevor Lovelle

The Western Australian transport industry is tired of the State Government undermining its competitiveness, efficiency and safety all in the name of politics.

The state's peak business organisation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA, has called on the Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan to reconsider her decision to force larger trucks to take 12 kilometre detour around the Labor held electorate of Riverton.

This decision has more to do with local politics and the Government retaining a marginal Labor seat than making roads safer for residents and the transport industry.

During the 2005 election campaign, the Government played to Riverton electors by announcing trucks longer than 19 metres would be banned from using Leach Highway between Cannington and Bullcreek.

The only alternative for trucks would be to divert south and use Roe Highway and a section of Kwinana Freeway through Bullcreek. South Street through Kardinya was also to be off limits though the ban would not apply to Leach Highway in that area, even though there was nothing different about it to Riverton.

Confusion among drivers has reigned since an October 2007 introduction date was deferred. It will now come into force next Tuesday, March 25, in good time for the next state election.

Drivers who started taking the detour early report that making four runs a day between Kewdale and the ports consumes more than 100 litres of fuel as well as extra travelling time.

According to the Government's figures, an average of 420 trucks will be diverted each day. On this basis CCI estimates the restrictions will increase an average truck operators fuel bill by more than $40,000 a year, and the industry nearly $20 million, an impost that may have to be passed onto consumers.

CCI and the transport industry is also concerned the Kwinana Freeway's on and off ramps pose a safety risk and may contribute to a greater number of truck roll-overs as the ramps have not been designed to handle heavy vehicles.

This populist decision highlights the Government's failure to develop a holistic heavy vehicle transport network linking Fremantle Port to Perth's key industrial areas. There has been little progress on this front since the Government scrapped plans to build Roe Highway to the coast and deleted the Fremantle Eastern Bypass from the Metropolitan Region Scheme

Leach Highway truck restrictions commence

19/3/08

Trucks greater than 19 metres in length will be banned from Leach Highway between Albany Highway and Kwinana Freeway, and from South Street between Roe Highway and Kwinana Freeway from Tuesday, March 25, 2008.

All trucks carrying containers bound to and from Fremantle Port will be banned from South Street between the freeway and Stock Road from the same date.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the restrictions will cut an average of 350 heavy truck movements daily on Leach Highway and South Street east of the Freeway, and take around 70 truck movements per day from South Street west of the Freeway.

"The restrictions on the movement of trucks on Leach Highway and South Street east of the freeway, will initially apply only to vehicles requiring a permit," Ms MacTiernan said.

"The permit vehicles will be required to use Roe Highway."

The restrictions would not be applied to trucks less than 19 metres in length in the first instance.

"We have modified the bans after detailed discussions with industry organisations which were concerned about the potential impacts," she said.

"Main Roads WA will monitor the impact of the restrictions on permit vehicles and general traffic patterns over the ensuing weeks.

"A decision will then be made about the timing of restrictions on other articulated trucks east of Kwinana Freeway on Leach Highway and South Street to ensure optimum management of the ban."

The Minister said that the completion of Roe Highway Stage 7 in March 2006, had already reduced truck numbers by about 1,100 per day on South Street and 500 per day on Leach Highway.

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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