Victorian election 2014: Labor promises night truck ban for scores of busy roads

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The Age: Victorian election 2014: Labor promises night truck ban for scores of busy roads. November 5, 2014 Adam Carey Transport Reporter for The Age

Trucks will be banned from using more than 10 of the busiest and most congested roads in Melbourne’s north-east at night if Labor wins the November poll.

The Opposition promised on Wednesday to impose a truck curfew on Rosanna Road and the Greensborough Highway between 10pm and 6am, as a 12-month trial. Curfews would also be enforced on a string of other main roads in the north-east to stop the truck traffic spreading to surrounding neighbourhoods, Labor said.

Rosanna Road and the Greensborough Highway carry about 45,000 vehicles a day, putting them among the busiest arterial roads in Melbourne. Residents live along the two roads and have campaigned heavily in recent months for an answer to the growing traffic in their neighbourhoods.

Much of the traffic on the two roads is headed to and from the Metropolitan Ring Road, which ends at the Greensborough Highway in Greensborough. The RACV has campaigned for several years for the construction of the “missing link” between the Ring Road and the Eastern Freeway, arguing it would reduce traffic congestion.

Labor accused the Napthine government of allowing the traffic problem to fester.

“The Liberals have had four years to address the congestion and noise on Rosanna Rd and they’ve done nothing,” Labor’s roads spokesman Luke Donnellan said.

“Only on the eve of an election they announce a ‘study’ – but residents and local businesses already know what the problems are.”

The Napthine government announced last week it would spend $275,000 investigating traffic calming measures and potential curfews on Rosanna Road.

But the government attacked Labor’s promise on Wednesday, arguing its stance against the East West Link would force more trucks on to roads in Melbourne’s north-east.

“Labor’s policy is reckless,” Roads Minister Terry Mulder said. “By ripping up contracts for the East West Link – and not consulting the community, council and freight operators – Labor’s plan will force hundreds of trucks onto local roads in Ivanhoe at night and consign the suburbs to years of gridlock.”

Mario Panaccio, spokesman for community group Resolve Rosanna Road, welcomed the promise but said it was only half a solution. Traffic on the two roads, with its associated noise and lack of safety, was a problem 24 hours a day, he said.

“It’s certainly a very good start although I think there needs to be more than just truck curfews,” Mr Panaccio said.

“We have B-Doubles on the road doing 65-70km/h down the hill and you’ve got less than half a metre between the road and the footpath, it’s pretty frightening.”

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