Truck count figures leaked to MTAG.
The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group has learnt that VicRoads truck count figures soon to be released will reveal dramatic increases in truck numbers in the inner west especially in Footscray.The biggest increases have been recorded on Moore St Footscray, which has seen a staggering 46% increase in nighttime truck traffic and an overall increase of 24.6% taking its total count to nearly 2500 trucks per day.
Truck traffic on Buckley St has also increased, and alarmingly for residents has jumped during nighttime hours by more than 30%. Buckley St now carries nearly 3000 trucks each day.
MTAG is demanding immediate nighttime curfews on both Buckley St and Moore St to put a stop to a problem that is worsening dramatically.
“People can’t sleep because of all these trucks and that’s incredibly frustrating,” said MTAG spokesperson Peter Knight. “But that’s not the worst of it, we know that diesel pollution is incredibly dangerous especially for children, and we know that these streets have some of the highest levels of diesel pollution recorded by the EPA.”
MTAG insists that something needs to be done immediately to bring these trucks under control and in addition to curfew restrictions has suggested the immediate implementation of freight efficiency measures to ensure that trucks don’t travel one way empty.
“Nearly half of truck trips in our streets are made by empty trucks. This could be changed very quickly and take lots of trucks off the streets, all it needs is political will. These kinds of measures are used widely in many large cities; it’s pretty standard. We’re way behind on this, we need to catch up.” said Peter Knight.
Currently the government is proposing the Westlink Tunnel as a solution to truck problems in Footscray, “We have real reservations about the tunnel but even if it does represent a solution it is at least ten years off. What do people do until then?”
MTAG is calling for Nicola Roxon to step in and play a prominent role in solving this problem.
“Ms Roxon is the Health Minister and this is her electorate. Trucks represent the most serious health risk to her constituents and yet she is missing in action on this issue. It would be great to hear from her in this election campaign on this issue.”
The Leader runs this article.