Truck access changes
Moira Shire Council has unanimously voted to allow B-double truck access on local roads on a seasonal period between October 1 and April 30 each year.
Cr Peter Lawless said council had been working with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to develop a scheme where B-double trucks could carry goods, including grain, hay and other fodder products, livestock and fertiliser to and from rural properties.
‘‘This decision eliminates the need for transport operators to apply and obtain a permit from the NHVR each time they plan to travel on a rural road,’’ he said.
‘‘Trucks won’t be allowed to use these roads in the winter months which ensures their protection from damage during wet conditions.’’
Cr Lawless said the scheme had the support of local transport operators.
‘‘A workshop was conducted with representatives of the NHVR, local transport operators and GrainCorp in September,’’ he said.
‘‘The traditional permit scheme was not well supported by transport operators due to potential delays for obtaining an approved permit, which also impacted their customers waiting for deliveries of fodder products to feed their livestock while the current drought conditions remain.
‘‘With this new scheme, the transport operator only needs to refer to the NHVR and VicRoads website maps that indicate which roads have been approved for use.’’
Cr Lawless said many factors had been taken into account before the decision was made, including dust suppression, road deterioration and the effect on properties next to these roads.
‘‘We are asking everyone to drive to the conditions and be aware that large vehicles may now be using rural roads throughout the shire between October and April,’’ he said.
Roads which have bridge load limits or have been assessed as not suitable for access by a truck such as unmade roads and urban roads are still be excluded from the scheme of approved roads.