Monster trucks to use tunnels

From: Herald Sun: Monster trucks to use tunnels (November 13, 2008)

A map released by the State Government has detailed plans to run monster trucks through Melbourne’s road tunnels. The road freight network would form a key plank of the major transport blueprint, to be released within weeks.In addition to Melbourne’s freeways, the freight network on the map released yesterday included the Nepean Highway, Hoddle St and South Rd.

At the Victorian Transport Infrastructure Summit yesterday, Roads Minister Tim Pallas released a map that highlighted the roads that would be used. Mr Pallas said the roads would be used by trucks capable of carrying two 12m containers, known as super B-doubles.

“We are looking at allowing super B-doubles to operate on what we are calling a principal freight network,” he said. “(The network is) a network of road and rail links connecting Melbourne’s major industrial areas with the Port of Melbourne.”

The map clearly indicates major arterial roads across the suburbs that would form the principal freight network. But the Government last night sought to distance itself from the map. A spokeswoman for Mr Pallas said it was indicative only.

“Those lines (on the map) are indicative and no specific roads have been confirmed,” Fiona Macrae said.

But Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said the map was evidence of a sneaky expansion of truck routes without consulting local communities or councils. “Behind everyone’s back, Tim Pallas’s maps are like a cancer, slowly spreading their tentacles into every nook and cranny of Melbourne,” Mr Mulder said.

“The maps are an admission by John Brumby that Labor has failed to transfer freight to rail.”

Maribyrnong Truck Action Group spokesman Elwyn Davies said bigger trucks would mean less incentive to invest in rail freight.

“More investment in public transport infrastructure would make the roads clearer,” Mr Davies said.