By Goya Dmytryshchak and Benjamin Millar
Hobsons Bay residents and council have welcomed the announcement of two new truck bans in Spotswood and Altona North once the West Gate Tunnel is completed in 2022.
Residents of Hyde Street in Yarraville are also clinging to hope they may be bought out after VicRoads indicated it may be open to acquiring properties impacted by an increase in trucks flowing from the tollway project.
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said 24/7 truck bans in Hudsons Road and Blackshaws Road were in response to modelling which identified that these streets could become rat runs.
“There would be anything between 500-600 trucks extra a day right up to many thousands extra trucks a day on these residential streets,” he said.
He said the government understood it needed to provide incentives to get freight trucks onto higher arterial roads. These would include shuttle rates, trip caps and night discounts.
Williamstown MP Wade Noonan said the bans were in response to community concerns that some trucks may avoid the tolls on the West Gate Tunnel.
“This, of course, follows bans that have already been announced in Yarraville, Seddon, which are also about improving the liveability once the West Gate Tunnel project is in fact completed,” he said.
Chris Dunlevy, a member of the Don’t Destroy Millers Road lobby group, said the community welcomed the bans but wanted them to go further.
“It’s what we have called for and great for the residents around those roads, but I think it doesn’t go far enough,” he said.
“Millers Road is still being completely ignored and we would like to see the ban extended to include Millers Road.”
Hobsons Bay mayor Sandra Wilson said the council was keen to partner with VicRoads to complete traffic managements plans for Blackshaws Road, Millers Road and Spotswood to ensure continued flows for local traffic.
“Council has also requested additional measures be introduced to control truck impacts on Millers Road,” she said.
In a submission to the project’s Inquiry and Advisory Committee, tabled on Friday, VicRoads backed the project but conceded it will have an affect on residential Hyde Street properties between Francis Street and the proposed Hyde Street ramps.
“VicRoads remains amenable to considering the purchase of these properties on hardship grounds on a case-by-case basis, given the unique nature of their circumstances,” it stated.
Meanwhile three more noise walls have been announced to allay concerns about increased noise in McIvor Reserve and Stony Creek Reserve in Yarraville and Crofts Reserve in Altona North.
Shadow roads minister Ryan Smith said concerns about traffic modelling raised by two experts hired by the government show the project is “looking more like a $5.5 billion white elephant”.