NSW Minister for Roads Duncan Gay has promised to try to secure greater access for larger and more productive truck combinations.
Speaking at this year’s Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) annual conference, Mr. Gay cited more productive trucks as one of three major priorities he intends to deliver on over the next three years.
NSW has opened up significant parts of its road network to heavier combinations in recent times and implemented schemes like Livestock Loading and Grain Harvest to boost payloads and productivity which Gay says he plans to build on.
“In the next three years the top three priorities are, getting more higher productivity trucks on our roads to reduce truck trips and give better payload, better access to our local road and state road networks by removing the freight pinch points and improving safety,” Gay said.
Mr Gay said improving road safety is vital in selling the case to the community about higher productivity trucks, which can include super B-doubles and B-triples.
“We are not going to get through it unless we can show that it is safe to operate in their area,” he said.
Gay said the NSW Government and the trucking industry will have a stronger chance of securing community support for the use super B-doubles as opposed to B-triples near city centres given super B-doubles use fewer trailers.
“If we can push super B-doubles closer to the cities and get close to the same capacity as B-triples then it will be an easier case to sell to those who are against bigger, heavier vehicles.
“When people see three trailers they are more worried than if they see two trailers even if they are bigger and can carry about the same weight,” Mr Gay said.
Mr. Gay told the conference that work is currently underway to improve access for trucks on council-controlled roads.
A government sub-committee involving Roads and Maritime Services representatives, local government officials, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and industry is working on resolving first mile and last mile access issues.
“I also understand that this committee is developing a list of access priority areas to focus on which is sensible. We’ve got some good people involved in this group and we’re looking for real progress soon,” he added