CALLS to permanently ban heavy vehicles on Beach Road and Beaconsfield Parade in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs must be resisted, the Victorian Transport Association says.
In a statement released today (October 12), the VTA described such calls as “opportunistic” in an effort to win votes in politically sensitive seats.
The VTA said such calls were coming from “an inflammatory group” that had previously depicted trucks as polluters and killers in a “Truck Off” campaign.
Curfews are currently in place on Beach Road from 8pm to 6am Monday to Saturday and from 1pm Saturday to 6am Monday with trucks making local deliveries exempt.
VTA chief executive Peter Anderson said the anti-truck lobby appeared to be pressuring Albert Park Labor MP Martin Foley.
“The Victorian Transport Association advocated against the curfew extension, which appears to have been at the behest of Albert Park Labor MP Martin Foley, responding to pressure from minority local interest and an anti-truck group that has threatened to run an independent candidate against him at the next election,” Mr Anderson said.
“With extended curfew trials set to commence, there are already calls for permanent bans before any evidence from the trial has even been unearthed. This is the slippery-slope the government must resist that sees the industry making concession after concession, with nothing offered in exchange.
Mr Anderson said “lazy decisions” pandered to activists and minority local interests and pitted the industry against the community.
“The decision-making in bayside suburbs starkly contrasts with the Government’s approach to heavy vehicle restrictions on roads in the inner west of Melbourne after the West Gate Tunnel is built,” he said. “Those restrictions at least contain productivity improvements for industry in the form of mandatory pricing incentives from the toll road’s future operator.”