‘Enforce truck ban’

‘Enforce truck ban’

Member for Cannington Bill Johnston at the Manning Road/Leach Highway intersection with a heavy vehicle in the background. Photograph – Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.

Heavy vehicle numbers on the Canning portion of Leach Highway could be reduced if the State Government enforced an existing truck ban, according to Member for Cannington Bill Johnston.

But industry representatives say the ban is working and very few heavy vehicles use the route to get to Fremantle Port.

The ban, enacted by the former Labor government in 2008, means trucks greater than 19 metres in length are not allowed to use Leach Highway between Albany Highway and Kwinana Freeway.

Back then it was anticipated the ban would take 350 heavy truck movements from the road.

Since the ban started only one infringement has been issued – a truck driver in 2015.

Mr Johnston said trucks bound to and from Fremantle Port were still using that portion of Leach Highway rather than using Roe Highway and criticised the state government for not enforcing the ban.

“I regularly travel on Manning Road to get into the city and when you’re sitting at the traffic lights at Leach Highway there’s just constantly trucks driving past with sea containers on the back,” he said.

“Obviously local deliveries are permitted but not port traffic so if a truck is there with a sea container, that’s not a local delivery, that’s going to the port.

“I’ve written to a number of transport ministers over the time of the Liberal government and asked them for the ban to be enforced and they’ve refused to do it.”

Mr Johnston criticised the state government for pushing ahead with Roe 8 when they weren’t enforcing the ban, which could be easily done.

“Given they have cameras at all the main intersections on Leach Highway they should use those to identify the trucks that are using he route through there when they’re not supposed to,” he said.

“When they catch them the first time they should send them a letter saying you’re not supposed to do this and when they catch them a second time they should send them an infringement so the drivers know there’s a penalty for using Leach Highway.

“Even if Roe 8 is built you still need to enforce the truck ban.”

WA Road Transport Association executive officer Cam Dumesny refuted Mr Johnston’s claims heavy vehicles were using Leach Highway.

“Whilst there may be the odd instance of an operator occasionally ignoring the restriction, this would be a negligible number of vehicles, if any,” he said.

“The claim essentially implies that the majority of our transport operators are ignoring the restriction on the Leach Highway, as that would be the only justification for the claim that enforcing the law would reduce ‘much of the heavy vehicle traffic’.

“The high degree of competition in the road transport industry means that as an association we will hear from other operators if someone is cheating the system.

“I can assure you our members are very quick and very vocal in letting us know if another operator is flouting any transport laws.”

Main Roads media manager Dean Roberts said transport inspectors regularly patrolled the area to ensure compliance and issue infringements to any heavy vehicle operators in breach of the ban.

Transport Minister Bill Marmion was contacted but did not respond before deadline.