Your thoughts wanted on the ACT Freight Strategy

freight

HOW and where freight should move around Canberra is up for discussion with the launch of a discussion paper on the ACT Freight Strategy by the new Minister for Planning Mick Gentleman.

“Over 12 million tonnes of freight comes into the ACT every year by road and air, with that figure projected to double in the next 20 years,” Mick said.

“We therefore need to make sure we have an efficient, safe and well-designed freight network that ensures route sustainability, safety and amenity to the community.

“As Canberra continues to grow, and the demand for freight increases, we need to plan which roads the different types of trucks can use while ensuring our deliveries are made when and where we need them.

“It may be that the current road network will need to be upgraded to allow heavier vehicles on more roads, but this needs to happen with minimal impact on the community – and the roads themselves.

“Service delivery in our suburbs, and the use of large trucks, is part of modern day life and is a trade-off we must have if we want our groceries, fuel and other goods delivered, but we can put parameters around it to minimise the number of trucks in residential areas and near schools.

“We may also have to determine locations where drivers park their trucks overnight and whether B-doubles need to stay out of the built up area altogether and de-couple before entering the city and, if so, what infrastructure will be needed for this” Mr Gentleman said.

The discussion paper is available online and comments close on 31 August.

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One Response to “Your thoughts wanted on the ACT Freight Strategy”

  1. Alex Satrapa
    July 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Here’s a start: Work with the railways to improve the accessibility of Canberra, such as a freight spur that allows freight trains to deliver to somewhere near Eaglehawk, and another that allows more direct access to Canberra Airport from Sydney. (a freight rail that can run alongside the high speed passenger rail).

    Now you have an out-of-town freight station (a large truck parking lot with a few associated warehouses, all oriented around shifting freight between medium rigid vehicles and trains), and can use medium rigid vehicles to ship the deliveries into Canberra proper. There’s really no need to have 40T articulated trucks wandering suburban roads. It’s really quite amusing to see the assortment of heavy vehicles trying to reverse into the loading dock of the Isabella Plains IGA, for example, when the only reason they do so is that they hauled two or three supermarket’s worth of goods from Sydney.

    Reducing the maximum weight allowed on Canberra’s roads will ensure we are better able to maintain those roads.

    Of course, this would require similar infrastructure somewhere like Campbelltown to load up the trains with goods bound for Canberra from various areas around Sydney. This plan would also require significant upgrades of various parts of the railway between Sydney and Canberra. But given the amount of money we spend on roads, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bit of change that fell down behind the couch which will fund a couple of corner re-grades or maybe a new pass being blasted.

    This work is going to have to be done for the high speed rail, may as well put the freight rail in at the same time. Even better, electrify the whole thing and run those trains off Canberra’s soon-to-be-copious solar electricity.

    I’d better stop before I start suggesting the freight rail could have a side income in solar farms along its route (various train sheds and infrastructure buildings need roofs after all, so may as well roof them with solar panels).

    There could even be scope to use Canberra’s burgeoning light rail network to carry freight during off-peak. Who knows where this could lead?

    Now to go buy shares in a local manufacturer of lithium batteries, steel rail tracks, and suspended power lines.

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