INCENTIVISING lower emission heavy vehicles while allowing for longer operating hours is the aim of a plan agreed by the Victorian Transport Association and the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group.
Under the Maribyrnong Cleaner Freight Initiative, access times for trucks using Francis Street, Somerville Road and Moore Street in Yarraville would be increased for accredited operators and reduced for those without accreditation.
The MCFI already has been submitted to Maribyrnong City Council and is being reviewed by VicRoads and the Victorian Government.
According to a joint statement, operators must use prime movers that have low emission Euro 5 compliant or greater engines in order to qualify.
Exhausts would be fitted with emission control systems and vehicles carrying dangerous goods required to display highly-reflective conspicuity tape.
Curfews on Buckley Street and Williamstown Road would be introduced and reduced speed limits of 50kmh applied to vehicles using gazetted freight routes in the City of Maribyrnong.
VTA chief executive Peter Anderson said the transport industry was showing leadership and creating greater harmony between residents and freight operators.
“This visionary plan we have developed with MTAG addresses the safety and environmental concerns of residents and equips drivers with a specific skills-set for operating in residential communities,” Mr Anderson said.
“Productivity gains accredited operators will receive from having longer access to curfewed roads will offset criteria they will have to meet to qualify,” he said.
“The community also benefits from trucks being replaced by younger, more efficient fleets operated by drivers who have had specialist training covering local freight routes, bridges, school zones, bicycle routes and noise abatement.”
MTAG president Samantha McArthur said the initiative was “a huge leap forward”.
“We really welcome this opportunity to work alongside the VTA,” Ms McArthur said.
“MTAG and the community have been calling out for measures to modernise the trucks in our area for years. This initiative will, for the first time in Victoria, start to initiate this much needed change.”
The Maribyrnong Cleaner Freight Initiative was developed by the VTA and MTAG to address concerns about heavy vehicles in the City of Maribyrnong and to help the transport industry transition to permanent restrictions the government has for roads with truck curfews after the West Gate Tunnel is built.