ATA NSW say pre-booking rest areas may be too difficult

Industry group questions plan to allow truck drivers to reserve spots at rest areas.

ATA NSW say pre-booking rest areas may be too difficult
ATA NSW manager Jodie Broadbent says travellers should not be using heavy vehicle rest areas as camp sites.


A proposal to allow truck drivers in New South Wales to reserve a spot at rest areas may be too difficult to implement, according to the state’s chief truck lobbying group.

NSW roads minister Duncan Gay recently raised the possibility of drivers booking their parking spots to give them certainty about where they can pull over for rest breaks.

Trials are currently underway to inform drivers ahead of time if a rest area is full, but the NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association believes extending that to include a booking service may be too hard.

"When you look at the pros and cons of it, there could be some issues that just might end up making it too difficult to use," ATA NSW manager Jodie Broadbent says.

"For example, how do you police something like that? Who is going to be in charge of managing it? What happens if you turn up and someone else is in your spot, what do you do? Those sorts of things I’m not sure have been considered and I don’t know how you manage all of that."

Broadbent says the priority must be building more heavy vehicle rest areas and adds that travellers should not be using them as camping sites.

"These are not camping spots and pretend caravan parks so people should not be putting up their awnings and having their cups of tea. These are dedicated rest areas for truckies and we need to be making sure there are plenty of those," she says.

"Our rest areas for freight vehicles are very important so they [drivers] can comply with legislative requirements, and having somebody set up their caravan and camp there is entirely inappropriate."

Gay says the NSW Government is working to build more rest areas.

Broadbent says the association has been "screaming for a number of years" to get more sites erected and that while progress is being made it is slow.

"They’re not something you can whizz up in a few minutes or a couple of weeks. They take quite a lot of detailed planning and ensuring they are structurally sound," she says.

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