Traffic surveillance cameras and commitment to truck bans welcomed

Published on 18 May 2022

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Maribyrnong City Council has welcomed a State Government investment in traffic management cameras to help move thousands of trucks away from residential areas in the municipality.

$350,000 will be spent on the cameras to monitor truck movements and identify problem areas, especially where legislated bans restricting trucks on certain roads at certain times are breached. Signage will also be erected from next month alerting drivers that A and B doubles are not allowed.

An updated guide, developed in collaboration with Council, the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group, Victorian Transport Association, and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will further educate truck drivers on where they can travel in the West.

Mayor Cr Anthony Tran said Council has been advocating to Government for some time to get big trucks off local roads for both safety and health reasons and the installation of surveillance cameras is “a good start”.

“The emissions from the around 34,000 trucks passing through our municipality daily is impacting the quality of the air our residents breathe which is in turn contributing to poor health outcomes – especially in relation to heart and lung complaints, which are among the worst in the inner west.

“Anything that will reduce the air pollution levels for our residents is to be celebrated – but more is needed.”

Mayor Tran said ultimately Council wants to see Government mandating cleaner, less polluting trucks on our roads, which have lower emissions as outlined in the draft Air Quality Improvement Plan and is also in line with the findings of the 2021 Parliamentary Committee Investigation into Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Victoria.

Council recognises truckies worked long hours to ensure shelves were stocked during the pandemic, when curfews through the municipality were also temporarily lifted to facilitate these essential freight movements. “My comments are not anti-truckies – but pro-residents health and wellbeing,” he emphasised.

On completion of the $6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel Project, which is designed to remove 9,000 trucks a day from local streets, Government has further pledged to implement strict curfews to prevent an additional 5,000 trucks taking ‘rat runs’ on a daily basis to avoid the freeway – noting the Project is not now due for completion until 2025.

The 24-hour truck bans will apply to:

• Francis Street – between Roberts Street and Hyde Street.
• Somerville Road – between Geelong Road and Whitehall Street.
• Buckley Street and part of Napier Street – between Geelong Road and Whitehall Street.
• Moore Street – between Ballarat Road and Hopkins Street.
• Hudsons Road – between Melbourne Road and Booker Street.
• Blackshaws Road – between Grieve Parade and Melbourne Road.

A ban on all diesel and petrol vehicle sales by 2030, legislation to reduce emissions from diesel trains by replacing them with electro-diesel trains and fast tracking of an electric vehicle bus fleet for the inner west are other advocacy items Council has outlined, along with a series of local actions it is proposing to take, in the Air Quality Improvement Plan.

Comments on the draft Air Quality Improvement Plan can be made before Sunday 29 May at where there is also a link to information on the issues and its impacts and actions residents can also take to play their part in improving the quality of our air.