Poll reveals public wants trucking restrictions

Rail lobby underlines truck ban findings in public transport survey

By Rob McKay | July 6, 2011

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has used a public transport poll to highlight public support for curbs to the times and areas for truck operations.

While ARA Chief Executive Bryan Nye says the results
were "not an argument about road or rail", the association was quick to point out that the poll report’s findings were that "70 percent of Australians want truck movements restricted to non-peak periods and 50 percent of Australians want large trucks banned from cities".

Auspoll surveyed 1,500 people across the country for the report released at a Parliament House summit on carbon pollution, road congestion, the growing population, and public transport.

On a point on which both the road and rail industries might find common ground, the survey found strong support for the Federal Government improving public transport, improving city planning, and investing in smart technology to reduce traffic congestion.

It found that more than 80 percent want the Federal Government to be more involved in the strategic funding and planning of public transport systems.

There was a
72 percent backing for measures to address climate change to be linked to low-carbon transportation infrastructure, such as that for public transport, cycling and walking.

According to Auspoll, the research also showed that most people want changes in the way that trucks use the roads. In this regard:

· 68 percent support the introduction of truck-only lanes on major arterial roads

· 61 percent support restricting truck movements in cities to non-peak periods

· 53 percent support banning the use of very large trucks in cities

· 33 percent support making trucks pay more for the use of roads in daylight hours - with 34 percent opposed to this

The response for a user-pays system for road funding was divided fairly evenly into three positions, with those opposed at 36 percent, those in favour at 35 percent and those on neither side sitting at 29 percent.

The report was prepared for the ARA, Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Local Government Association, Bus Industry Confederation, Cycling Promotion Fund, Heart Foundation and the International Public Transport Association.

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