TMR listens to your protests, fixes Gatton decoupling bungle


The initial design flaws in the newly-opened Gatton Heavy Vehicle Decoupling Facility have been fixed after truckies voiced their concerns about its shortcomings.

A spokesperson for Transport and Main Roads (TMR) tells Big Rigs that the entrance was widened and the size of the traffic island reduced to ensure comfortable entrance and exit to the facility by Type 1 road trains up to 36.5m.

“During works on the Gatton Heavy Vehicle Decoupling Facility, we received several enquiries specifically relating to the size and location of the traffic island at the entrance,” said the spokesperson.

“Heavy vehicle operators were concerned AB-triples would be unable to enter the facility due to the width of the entry lane.”

The changes are a big win for truckies after Transport Minister Mark Bailey and the TMR initially saying there had been more than enough consultation with industry on the initial design, despite Big Rigs reporting evidence to the contrary.

The facility was officially opened today after five months of work, giving drivers the option to break down and reconfigure heavy vehicles on either side of Toowoomba Second Range Crossing before continuing their journey.

Queensland Assistant Regional Roads Minister Bruce Saunders said the facility was an important project to support the heavy vehicle industry and make the road network around Toowoomba safer and more efficient.

“With 30 bays for decoupling and no time limits for trailer parking, drivers will be able to choose either side of Toowoomba to break down and reconfigure,” Saunders said.

“The acceleration lanes onto the Warrego Highway have been lengthened to make the highway merge safer.

“The roundabouts and overpass between the Gatton facility and Warrego Highway have also been widened and strengthened to accommodate the additional heavy vehicles expected to stop.”

The facility will be monitored by CCTV and users are advised to comply with site instructions, with penalties for dumping livestock effluent or waste and any other breaches.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new facility would mean more efficient deliveries to and from Brisbane.

“Heavy vehicle drivers will benefit from using the Toowoomba Bypass and can avoid paying a second toll to reconfigure at Charlton,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This will improve efficiencies for our essential heavy vehicle industry, cutting business costs.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the new facility would be a boost for the freight industry, which had been vital to the state’s COVID-19 recovery over the past year.

“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the hard-working heavy vehicle drivers who have been the unsung heroes over the past year, transporting goods and products across the state to keep our economy going,” Bailey said.

“The new facility at Gatton will make it easier and more efficient for drivers to break down and reconfigure their trucks as needed before continuing over the Toowoomba Range or into Brisbane.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport and Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz also welcomed the new facility.

“The Australian Government proudly funded the Gatton Heavy Vehicle Decoupling Facility in partnership with the Queensland Government, as part of the Toowoomba Bypass project,” Buchholz said.

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