The Victorian government today released its long awaited Victorian Transport Plan (VTP)
A link to the plan can be found here:
So what’s in the plan in relation to trucks in the inner west?
The VTP contains a Truck Action Plan to be carried out in two stages and is dependent on Commonwealth funding. Details are here: http://www4.transport.vic.gov.au/vtp/projects/truckactionplan.html
Stage 1– Construction of a new link to the Westgate Freeway via Hyde Street. This also will involve the widening of Hyde and Whitehall Roads and strengthening of Shepherd’s bridge. A map containing details of this can be found here: http://www4.transport.vic.gov.au/vtp/pdfs/road_tunnel_geelong_to_port_melb.pdf
This link will remove up to 70% of the existing trucks on Francis Street and Somerville Road as is a great outcome for residents, schools and communities along these routes.
This is the link that MTAG called for in its submission to the Eddington plan.
Stage 2 – The construction of a tunnel from the port area that will link with Sunshine and Geelong Rds and the upgrades of Paramount Rd and Dempster Rd between Sunshine Rd and Geelong Rd. The tunnel is included in the second stage of the Truck Action Plan but in reality is the first part of the government’s plan for a new alternative to the Westgate Bridge. This is not a project that MTAG supported in its submissions. We did however support the upgrading of Paramount and Dempster Roads.
Our initial reaction to this tunnel is that it will funnel more trucks onto Geelong Road. MTAG opposes any relocation of the truck problem to other residential areas.
Does today’s announcements show in detail where the new on/off ramps will be located?
No there is still no detailed mapping for the new link. What is does show is that Hyde Street north of Francis Street is not affected. It shows the route as Hyde Street up to Francis Street, then right onto Francis Street, then turning left onto Whitehall street. MTAG had called for a new river crossing so that the trucks could avoid Shepherds bridge area but this was not announced.
What about the Truck Bans?
The report says:
“Implementation of the Truck Action Plan will be complemented by improved enforcement curfews on roads in the inner west including in Kensington, Footscray and Flemington.”
“Building the Hyde St connection alone will not lead to a complete ban of trucks on Francis St and Somerville Rd, as a significant number of trucks associated with the local industry will continue to use this route. The Hyde St connection is estimated to reduce truck numbers on these streets by around 70% or over 5,000 heavy vehicles each week day.”
What else is in the Plan?
There’s a huge amount of projects including rail, roads and public transport in the VTP. It does include the Westgate Bridge alternative tunnel and the Footscray to Caulfield Metro Train tunnel.
Please see the link to the VTP for more information: http://www4.transport.vic.gov.au/vtp/
So what’s next for MTAG?
• Continue to support the construction of the on/off ramps through lobbying for Commonwealth Funding
• Work to get a route for the new link that has the least impacts on residents and open space including Stony Creek
• Work with people affected by the plans to minimise these impacts where ever possible.
• Ensure that existing truck bans are improved and enforced
• Continue our work to get trucks off residential streets
• Ongoing work to highlight the health impacts of diesel emissions