PRESS RELEASE – Leaked B Triple Truck Plan

August 29, 2008 1 Comment

PRESS RELEASE 28/08/08

MARIBYRNONG TRUCK ACTION GROUP

Maribyrnong Truck Action Group Response to Leaked B Triple Plan

The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group (MTAG) has called leaked plans to allow B Triple trucks to use suburban routes “scary” but expects Tim Pallas will not approve them.

“Anyone with a modicum of common sense will see immediately that B Triples using suburban routes is not safe,” said MTAG spokesperson Peter Knight.

“We expect that Tim Pallas will take a look at these plans and put a huge cross through them.”

However, the plans leaked to the Liberal Party, do clearly show that Geelong Rd, is one of several suburban roads included in the proposal.

“It doesn’t make sense in terms of urban amenity and it doesn’t make sense in terms of freight efficiency either,” said Mr Knight.

“The only thing B Triples will achieve is to attract freight away from rail and put it onto the road system. We will end up with the same number of trucks but they will be bigger trucks.”

MTAG’s assertion is backed up by recent studies including one by Queensland Rail which states: “The widespread introduction of B-triple trucks on Queensland roads would result in the loss of most of QR’s contestable freight to road and a 160% increase in truck traffic all of which would be B-triples carrying freight previously transported by rail.”

“Tim Pallas knows about these studies, and he has stated that it is the government’s aim to get more freight onto rail so it’s hard to imagine why he would let this through, it just wouldn’t make sense.”

Contact Peter Knight

1 response to "PRESS RELEASE - Leaked B Triple Truck Plan"

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    Here's more from the latest research on B Triples... Effect of Bigger Trucks on Mode Share The argument that bigger and heavier trucks reduce the number of trucks on the road assumes that the freight market is static both in terms of the amount of freight and mode share. However, that is not the case. Increased truck payloads increase the competitiveness of road freight with respect to rail, stimulating a modal shift to road and countering any reduction in truck numbers brought about by higher payloads . A report undertaken for Queensland Rail (QR) found that the widespread introduction of 36.5 metre, 90.5 tonne B-triple trucks on Queensland roads would result in the loss of most of QR’s contestable freight to road and a 160% increase in truck traffic all of which would be B-triples carrying freight previously transported by rail . Diversion of traffic from rail to road leads to declining rail revenue and further decreases funds available for rail investment. Remaining rail customers face higher rates, reduced service or both. Increases in truck size and weights are being considered only in the context of how they affect the efficiency of road freight operations. There is no consideration given to how these increases will improve the overall efficiency of the freight transport task and minimise the impact of transport on communities and the environment. Increases in truck size and weight has been occurring with no consideration at all of the likely impact on rail or of any federal, state or local government policies with regard to integrated transport planning or rail mode share targets. Truck size, particularly under the proposed introduction of Performance Based Standards (PBS), is assessed only against vehicle compliance with relevant technical and engineering standards. Analysis of the Introduction of PBS In early 2003, ARRB Transport Research undertook an analysis of the benefits of the introduction of PBS for heavy vehicles. The analysis found that the benefit/cost ratio to the road transport from the introduction of PBS was in the order of 5:1. However, the analysis is incomplete because it failed to consider the impact on rail freight of bigger and heavier trucks and the consequent effect on mode share. The word ‘rail' is referred to only once in the report and then ignored. The costs and benefits of PBS for the road transport sector need to include the adverse economic, social and environmental consequences of increased use of road freight. The report is also deficient in not considering the adverse impact of accelerative force through the drive axle on road pavements. The impact of axle loads on road pavement was examined, but this is different from the damage caused by the drive axle of a heavy truck as it grips the road to accelerate or decelerate.