Truck rest-stop ameni­ties non-ne­go­tiable says ATA

Australian Transport News - - CONTENTS -

Ac­cess to toi­lets, light­ing and potable wa­ter at truck rest ar­eas is a re­quire­ment, not a de­sir­able as­set, for truck driv­ers, ATA CEO Ben Maguire ar­gues.

AC­CESS TO TOI­LETS, light­ing and potable wa­ter at truck rest ar­eas is a re­quire­ment, not a de­sir­able as­set, for truck driv­ers, the Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (ATA) ar­gues.

The group is call­ing for ma­jor changes to the guide­lines for truck rest ar­eas, ahead of the release of a re­search re­port into the is­sue, pre­pared by Aus­troads.

Aus­troads has de­vel­oped a set of new guide­lines for the de­sign of heavy ve­hi­cle rest ar­eas (HVRAs) fol­low­ing a se­ries of sur­veys of driv­ers at rest stops and on­line, com­pleted ear­lier this year.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (NatRoad), the guide­lines out­line a table of fa­cil­i­ties to be con­sid­ered for each class of for­mal HVRA (ranked from 1-5) and pro­vide schemat­ics of how both for­mal and in­for­mal HVRAs can be laid out.

But ATA CEO Ben Maguire says ac­cess to toi­lets, light­ing and wa­ter are a “ba­sic hu­man right” and should not be listed as be­ing op­tional at any rest fa­cil­ity.

“It’s not nice to have: it is a fun­da­men­tal re­quire­ment and obli­ga­tion for road providers and gov­ern­ment,” Maguire says.

“There should be a strong set of guide­lines, an in­de­pen­dent au­dit on the cur­rent state of rest ar­eas, and then a funded na­tional plan from gov­ern­ments to ad­dress the gaps.”

The as­so­ci­a­tion has also called for gov­ern­ments to take the ef­fort to pro­vide truck rest ar­eas ev­ery 20km, as well as to en­force a rule that cars, car­a­vans and other ve­hi­cles not park in the des­ig­nated truck sec­tion of any rest area.

The ATA specif­i­cally sug­gests con­sult­ing with fe­male driv­ers on the pro­vi­sion of toi­let fa­cil­i­ties at some rest ar­eas, and de­vel­op­ing guide­lines to pre­vent road agen­cies from

“Road man­agers should place a HVRA on the ap­proach or de­par­ture side of the town.”

tem­po­rar­ily clos­ing rest ar­eas to store road­works ma­te­ri­als.

In its sub­mis­sion to Aus­troads, NatRoad calls on lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to pro­vide rest stop fa­cil­i­ties – in­clud­ing toi­lets, show­ers, fuel and food – and for lo­cal gov­ern­ments to make in­for­ma­tion about suit­able park­ing ar­eas pub­licly avail­able.

“Where us­ing a town as a rest fa­cil­ity is not sup­ported by the lo­cal gov­ern­ment, road man­agers should place a HVRA on the ap­proach or de­par­ture side of the town to ful­fil the de­sired HVRA spac­ing along the freight route,” NatRoad says.

“We also sug­gested the town should not be men­tioned when re­fer­ring to HVRAs to avoid driv­ers think­ing that it pro­vides a HVRA op­por­tu­nity.”

Ben Maguire

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