Geelong council to vote on truck ban trial

Councillors to look at two-stage approach by introducing a 4.5 tonne weight restriction

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | October 8, 2013

The Greater Geelong City Council will decide tonight whether to trial a truck ban in the city centre.

In a bid to increase development in the city, the council is proposing to ban heavy vehicles on Malop and Mercer streets for six months.

More than 1,000 trucks travel through the area each day.

Councillors will decide whether to implement a two-stage approach to traffic management by introducing a 4.5 tonne weight restriction.

The council has also recommended working with VicRoads and the Truck Operations Committee on broadening the restriction to Ryrie Street, as 88 per cent of trucks use it each day.

However, there will be no restriction on trucks, cranes, buses and other heavy vehicles that need access to the city for a genuine purpose, such as deliveries.

"The Central Geelong Transportation Links Study, undertaken by the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure in conjunction with VicRoads and the city, clearly identified existing freight and heavy vehicle movements through the central Geelong east/west network," the council says.

"The study has not identified an explicit road hierarchy or heavy vehicle route for the future through central Geelong, with VicRoads looking for direction and lead from the council in relation to the designation of road hierarchy and in particular east/west routes across Geelong."

The council will consult with freight operators and local business throughout the trial, which is set to cost $120,000.

Fruit and vegetable exporter CostaGroup CEO Frank Costa supports the ban, saying the area needs an effective transport network in order to grow.

"As the population is growing, you can’t wait until too long to do something, and we know what’s happening in Melbourne with the huge population growth; getting in to Melbourne over the West Gate Bridge is becoming absolutely impossible in the mornings and late afternoons," Costa says.

"If we weren’t growing it wouldn’t be quite so critical but we are growing and that’s going to continue.

"It’s a matter of looking ahead and working out which is the best way to go – they have to look at it now."

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