Infrastructure Australia CEO Michael Deegan denies a draft National Land Freight Strategy would result in B-triple trucks travelling on single carriageway sections of the Pacific Highway.
Infrastructure Australia CEO Michael Deegan denies a draft National Land Freight Strategy would result in B-triple trucks travelling on single carriageway sections of the Pacific Highway.

B-triple trouble on Pacific Hwy

FEARS motorists could soon be dicing with massive B-triple trucks, up to 38 metres long, on horror stretches of the single carriageway Pacific Highway in the Clarence Valley have been dispelled by Infrastructure Australia CEO Michael Deegan.

Mr Deegan said comments made about the draft National Land Freight Strategy by Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker amounted to nothing more than political scaremongering.

“The implication or the imputation that we were recommending B-triples on single lane sections of the Pacific Highway is completely false,” he said

“I would advise the scaremongers to actually read our report.”

If the Pacific Highway was upgraded to dual carriageway, Mr Deegan said, B-triples might still not be permitted on the road.

“We would need at least dual carriageway and then it would still have to be reviewed to meet the appropriate standards,” he said.

In preparing the draft strategy for the Federal Government, Mr Deegan said he went on several trips in different trucks on roads included in the report.

“I know the issues probably better than perhaps some of the politicians ... I know what the challenges are,” he said.

He said the strategy was essential to maximise safe and efficient freight transport around the nation.

“In the next 15 to 20 years freight task will double around Australia,” he said.

“Part of what we are suggesting is the inland rail from Melbourne to Brisbane and upgraded rail systems generally.

“It’s not just truck focused, it’s a multi model approach.”

Mr Deegan encouraged people to read the draft and to give Infrastructure Australia feedback.

A copy of the draft National Land Freight Strategy can be found on the Infrastructure Australia website: www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au

Submissions to the draft strategy close at the end of April.

Mr Hartsuyker vehemently opposed the plan, saying the introduction of B-triples would only magnify the grief currently experienced by motorists.

“As it stands, B-doubles cause existing motor vehicle drivers a lot grief,” he said.

“Imagine what it would be like if we had hundreds of bigger trucks travelling up and down the coast.”

Mr Hartsuyker said it would be irresponsible or even negligent for any government to give the green light to this idea.

“Given the state of the highway it is beyond belief the government would consider allowing B-triples to travel the Pacific Highway,” he said.

“The mixture of local traffic and though-traffic is a deadly one.”

He said the plan should be shelved indefinitely.

“At the very least no government should consider the B-triple option until at least the Pacific Highway duplication is complete,” he said.

“However, any future assessment would need to be made in the context of the traffic volumes at that time, which may mean B-triples should never be an option for the Pacific Highway.”

 

ARGUMENTS FOR:

Cheaper, more efficient freight transport.

Would result in less trucks on highway.

Essential due to increasing freight volumes.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST:

Truck lengths hazardous to motorists.

Unsuitable to travel single carriageway highway.



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