NSW Roads Minister denies B-triples to run on our roads

Roads Minister Duncan Gay has issued a statement denying B-triples are destined for the Pacific Highway any time soon.
Roads Minister Duncan Gay has issued a statement denying B-triples are destined for the Pacific Highway any time soon.

WHILE the NSW government has moved quickly to deny B-triple trucks will be trialled on the Pacific Highway, evidence continues to emerge the plan is at least being considered.

Reports in the Fairfax press today claim the O'Farrell government has turned on the green light for B-triple trials on the Hume Highway.

However, a spokesperson for Nationals Roads Minister Duncan Gay denied the Pacific Highway was part of the plan while saying it is unlikely the Hume trial would be ready to go inside the next 12 months.

The timing of this latest discussion may prove interesting for road safety experts with data from Operation Safe Arrival released overnight showing the latest examples of traffic madness on the Hume.

These include a motorist speeding at 198km/h in a 110km/h zone at Yass, a man caught driving at 162km/h in a 110km/h zone with an unrestrained nine-month-old child on the back seat at Goulburn and another caught driving at 140km/hr with a blood alcohol level of 0.175 at Holbrook.

All three offences were detected in the proposed Hume Highway trial zone.

NSW manager at the Australian Trucking Association, Jodie Broadbent, said discussions had begun with Roads and Maritime Services about a trial of B-triples on the Pacific Highway, possibly within "two or three years."

While the story has struck a chord today, local authorities have been discussing for some time the ramifications of putting B-triples on to the Pacific Highway.

In a Coffs Coast Advocate online poll in May 2011, 20% of respondents voted in favour of the 'road monsters' with 79% opposed to their introduction and 1% undecided.

Last October in an interview with ABC News discussing the NSW government's Long Term Transport Master Plan, Nambucca general manager Michael Coulter noted the term "higher production (or productivity) vehicles" is used in the plan because it's less emotive than B-triples or road trains.

"If the trial on the Hume Highway is successful I would expect the proposal to be rolled out on the Pacific Highway," he said.

"I know in the community there are concerns about the speed of trucks, some of the driving, and particularly on the undivided highway."

The Long Term Transport Master Plan goes into some detail about the poor condition of North Coast roads and the appalling safety record.

It is another government document promising Pacific Highway duplication.

Topics:  duncan gay

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