Westgate Ramps Coalition Media Release: Community Rally

September 13, 2011

Media Release: Community Rally September 18th Yarraville Gardens

Transport Workers Union joins with residents to call for Westgate Ramps truck route to be built

In a major development in the battle to get trucks off residential streets in the inner west, the Transport Workers Union has joined with residents, local council, business groups and other prominent voices to call for the Baillieu Government to build the Westgate on/off ramps, which were a part of the Victorian Transport Plan, as soon as possible.

“It is often thought that groups like Maribyrnong Truck Action Group (MTAG) are against truckies” said Martin Wurt from MTAG, “but this isn’t true. We know that truckies hate using residential streets and want a proper 24 hour route to the port, and the fact that the Transport Workers Union is now on board with the coalition gives voice to this.”

“These ramps are essential especially given the projected growth of the port and associated container movements. They will be good for residents, good for truckies, good for business, and good for the environment,” said Mr Wurt.

The ramps, first proposed by Sir Rod Eddington’s 2008 study of Melbourne’s transport needs, will create a route for trucks that bypasses residential areas in Francis St and Somerville Rd with exits and entries from the Westgate Freeway before the bridge that takes them directly to the port via Hyde St and Whitehall St. They will also provide an alternative route for many of the trucks that currently use streets in Footscray to access the port. They will direct about one million trucks per year away from residential streets improving health and safety in the inner west and giving industry a 24/7 route to port.

Anton Mayer, spokesperson for the group and CEO of Leadwest says that the ramps offer the best solution to truck traffic problems in the inner west, “They tick a lot of boxes,” he said, “and will improve and address amenity for residents while also addressing access issues for industry.”

The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group along with Less Trucks for Moore concur with Mr Mayer’s assessment: “These ramps are what MTAG has been calling for since the group was formed in 2005, we want to see trucks using the Westgate Freeway to get to the port because that’s the route with the most buffer between the trucks and communities in the inner west.”

The Westgate Ramps Coalition includes Maribyrnong City Council, Yarraville Community Centre, The Greens Inner West Branch, Labor Party-Yarraville Branch, Transport Workers Union, Kingsville Primary School, Yarraville West Primary School, and Paul Delutis’ De Group (Bradmill site developers), Less Trucks for Moore and Maribyrnong Truck Action Group.

For interviews etc call Martin Wurt 0411 063 071

www.facebook.com/westgateramps

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