ROAD VS RAIL FREIGHT

Could I address the matter not only of the B-triples, B-doubles, etc. with attendant costs, casualties, etc. but road problems in general.  I have made the following suggestion to both State and Federal Ministers but, of course, never received a reply but now with the argument raising its head about these monstrous trucks on our roads , perhaps it’s time to have another go.   

I suppose everyman and his dog has thought of the following solution to the roads, transport, decentralisation problems, again, I think that everyman and his dog will admit that:

1. We need more roads but the building of roads is prohibitively expensive;

2. Trucks are a big problem on our inadequate roads;

3. Trucks are involved every week in accidents often including several people;

4. Trucks tear up the roads.

5. Trucks are proposed to get bigger and bigger with an increase in problems for other road users.

The next point is that this state needs decentralisation – admitted?

We already have stations and station buildings at every few Kms along every rail line. We already have rail lines and certainly there should be the necessary expertise available to revert to the days of freight movement along rail lines. In other words we have the necessary infrastructure to cope with the following suggestion:

Freight could be delivered by rail to depots established every 100 or 150 Kms at major population points (e.g. Lithgow, Bathurst, Orange, etc) If tenders were called for the manning and management of those depots it could be expected that the drivers of the trucks and families and the administrators of the depot would live in the area of the depot servicing areas radiating out from the depots.

What would this do?

1. Many trucks including the “monster” trucks would be taken off the highways with a saving of lives and road surfaces. The very large trucks now using and abusing the highways would not be needed as much as smaller, more economical vehicles. Perhaps there would be no need for more expensive road expansion if trucks were removed from the highways.

2. Drivers and families could be expected to move from Sydney to live in the area of depot occupation so adding to the environment of the towns selected – homes, shopping, schools, etc.

3. At present truck drivers often live at major cities, such as Sydney, travelling thousands of kilometres for their deliveries with attendant fatigue, dislocation of family life.

Has this all been thought of and rejected? I have not heard any proposal to undertake this expansion of the freight system and I certainly did not receive any comment about the feasibility of the

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