East-west link focus does nothing for the west, Thomson argues


Supporter of Truck Action Plan chastises Victorian Government for inaction on projects to alleviate heavy vehicle traffic in Melbourne's west

October 12, 2012

A supporter of the Truck Action Plan has chastised the Victorian Government’s focus on building an east-west link road over projects to alleviate heavy vehicle traffic in Melbourne’s west.

Footscray MP Marsha Thomson has continued her attack on the Government for not implementing the plan, which involves a series of road upgrades to divert truck traffic off heavily-congested roads in the western suburbs.

Labor proposed the plan when it was in power, but Premier Ted Baillieu has not taken it up since winning office in December 2010.

The Government has constantly argued the need for an east-west link, with Roads Minister Terry Mulder using the recent traffic gridlock in Melbourne to justify the project.

"It [the Truck Action Plan] should have already started construction. The plans were done, but the Baillieu Government has done nothing. It has declared it will build an east–west link which, when and if it ever begins, will start in the east and provide no answers for residents in the west," Thomson says.

"For residents in Yarraville and in Buckley and Moore streets in Footscray, the increasing frequency of big trucks making a huge noise powering through their streets and disrupting their neighbourhoods is totally unacceptable."

Thomson says residents in the west want action taken now to remove trucks from local roads.

"Environment Protection Authority monitoring in Francis Street has revealed high noise levels of 77 decibels on weekdays and 73 decibels on weekends," she says.

Sir Rod Eddington recommended the Truck Action Plan, which involves stopping thousands of heavy vehicles from using local roads each day as shortcuts to the West Gate Freeway and the Port of Melbourne.

Eddington suggested enforced truck bans on local streets, along with road upgrades to provide improved freight connections to the port, freeway and the Western Highway.

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