Hayden calls for end to curfew on road trains

Western Australian Liberal Alyssa Hayden calls for end to curfew on road trains in the Swan Valley

By Brad Gardner | August 24, 2011

A West Australian MP has called for a curfew on road trains in the Swan Valley to be permanently lifted, as Main Roads prepares to end a three-month trial.

Alyssa Hayden, whose East Metropolitan electorate takes in the Swan Valley, has criticised the 9am to 6pm curfew on road trains travelling on the Great Northern Highway through the region on weekends and public holidays.

The curfew applies to road trains from 30 metres to 36.5 metres in length and was implemented to allow tourism traffic to travel through Swan Valley. Hayden says it is causing congestion because operators are forced to separate their combinations at an assembly area on a local street and then make multiple trips to back and forth to comply with the restriction.

The Main Roads trial, announced by Transport Minister Troy Buswell in May, will end on August 28. The findings will be presented to Buswell, who will then decide whether to abolish the curfew.

"Instead of trucks making only one trip through the valley, the trip has been multiplied up to six times. In the case of a three-trailer truck, the curfew, which is meant to reduce truck traffic, has increased the number of trips by six times," Hayden says.

"I hope that common-sense prevails. The lifting of the curfew will reduce traffic on the Great Northern Highway and relieve congestion, and I hope to see it lifted."

Buswell acted after trucking operators approached the government. Community consultations and industry workshops were held.

Hayden says she received supportive comments from the public during the trial. One resident referred to a significant drop in noise levels on Friday nights because trucks no longer travelled through to beat the weekend curfew.

Buswell says it is timely to re-examine the worth of the curfew, which exempts livestock vehicles in the interests of animal welfare.

"This section of the highway has been upgraded substantially in recent times to dual lane highway in both directions with turning pockets," Buswell said earlier this year.

He says the existing scheme is creating convoys of road trains trying to leave Perth as soon as the curfew is lifted, raising concerns over road safety.

Buswell says the Main Roads trial also includes allowing some oversize loads between 6.5 metres and 8.5 metres wide to travel on the highway on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

"They would otherwise have travelled on the weekend," Hayden says.

Buswell says the trial is expected to reduce delays to motorists using the highway on weekends.

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