MTAG today welcomed the State Government’s announcement of $11million to kick start Stage 1 of the Truck Action Plan.Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas announced the money will be used for the planning investigation of Stage 1 of the Truck Action Plan, including strengthening works on Shepherd’s Bridge over the Maribyrnong River. This funding boost shows a commitment to the Truck Action Plan and sees the State Government taking responsibility for getting trucks off residential streets of the inner west.
Stage 1 of the plan is the construction of a dedicated truck route from the Melbourne Port to the Westgate Freeway. The Government is yet to make a decision of the final route of this truck bypass. However VicRoads has narrowed the route down to 2 similar options which will see the route taking Whitehall Street, Francis Street (between Whitehall and Francis Street) and Hyde Street south to Stony Creek where 2 new on and off ramps will be constructed from the Westgate Freeway.
Today’s announcement is a concrete step forward in the construction of the route which MTAG has been campaigning for. The truck bypass will remove thousands of trucks off residential streets, a very welcome move for long suffering residents along Francis Street, Sommerville Road and Williamstown Road.
So while today’s announcement is very welcome the Truck Action Plan is still dependent on Federal funding. Expected costs for Stage1 are $380 million. The State Government is calling on the Federal Government’s Infrastructure Australia for the remaining funding. Expected construction, once commenced, will take 2-3 years.