Residents bracing for a massive increase in truck traffic past their homes have labelled a VicRoads study group exploring the issue as a “snow job”.
Truck trips on a stretch of Williamstown Road from Somerville Road to Geelong Road are expected to double from averages of 1800 to 2200 in 2016 to 3500 to 4300 by 2031, triggered by bans on other arterial roads once the West Gate Tunnel opens in 2022.
The state government last year set up a Corridor Study Group, chaired by VicRoads, to investigate safety and other issues in the Williamstown Road and Millers Road corridors.
But Williamstown Road residents fear the group is a sham that will fail to deal with the impact the tunnel project will have.
Graeme Hammond said Williamstown Road would have the same number of trucks as Francis Street currently carries through Yarraville, counter to the government’s claims that the tunnel will take trucks off local roads.
“The government agreed that the Francis Street truck levels were unacceptable,” he said. “Why does it think they are acceptable on Williamstown Road, a street lined with homes and adjacent to a primary school?”
Mr Hammond said he had taken the government’s commitments seriously at first, but that the group process had been a sham from the start.
“It’s just another process for VicRoads to do what they want,” he said.
Mr Hammond cited discussions at a recent working group meeting on introducing clearways or parking restrictions during peak times on Williamstown Road as a key concern.
He said this move would make it impossible for residents to find parking and send an “open slather” message to truck drivers.
VicRoads acting regional director David Teague said the community working group had a broad representation of stakeholders and had met four times.
He said the group had been working to develop potential options to improve safety, amenity and access along both Williamstown Road and Millers Road corridors.
“A shortlist of these options will be put to the wider community for feedback later this year,” he said.
He said VicRoads has “no plans” to introduce clearways on Williamstown or Millers roads.