In a motion to last week’s meeting, Cr Grant Miles called for a total ban on all heavy vehicles passing through Footscray and Yarraville on thoroughfares including Somerville Road and Francis, Buckley and Moore streets.
At least 20,000 truck movements are recorded on inner-west roads every weekday, despite a number of curfews limiting truck movements overnight, on weekends and at school crossing times.
Cr Miles’ motion argued that the impact of heavy truck traffic included health, environmental and pollution costs, loss of residential amenity, increased need for road maintenance and lower property values adjacent to heavily used routes and transport depots and terminals.
The council will write to the state government requesting a total ban on all non-local heavy vehicles once either the government’s Westgate Distributor or Transurban’s proposed Western Distributor project is completed.
Projected completion dates are 2018 for the Westgate and 2020 for the Western Distributor.
The call for the ban echoes similar requests from the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group, Williamstown Labor MP Wade Noonan and western suburbs Greens MP Colleen Hartland, who has sought further bans in conjunction with stage one Western Distributor works.
In a recent response to Ms Hartland in Parliament, Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said VicRoads did not expect any significant increase in truck movements through the Footscray-Yarraville area as a result of these works.
“While the government has previously indicated that truck bans would be introduced in the inner west to ensure trucks use the West Gate Distributor or Western Distributor, VicRoads does not intend to introduce additional curfews as part of stage 1 Western Distributor works,” he said.
Maribyrnong councillor Catherine Cumming has put forward her own motion seeking a north-south arterial road upgrade to manage predicted traffic growth and congestion in the western suburbs.
She said the current north-south route through Braybrook, Tottenham and Brooklyn was disjointed and congested. “To maximise economic growth and development in this area, better connections are needed to access the freeway to and from the industrial, transport and logistics sites.”