The newly elected NSW Labor government is committing $20 million to improve truckies’ rest area facilities in Sydney.
In a letter to Road Freight NSW CEO Simon O’Hara in the hours before polls closed, Shadow Minister for Roads at the time, John Graham, said the money could be used for “a number” of rest stops and truck parking bays across metropolitan Sydney.
Or, it could all be used for one super site, a rest stop with major truck parking facilities in Sydney for long-distance truckies to rest, park, shower and access services.
“A combination of tolls, fines, congestion, a lack of parking and rest stops have seen Sydney described as the least friendly city for truckies in the country,” writes Graham.
“In addition to the benefits for drivers, this proposal will help cut the costs of freight deliveries for customers.”
Graham said Labor will open an expressions of interest process to allow bids and also consider what services could be co-located including Service NSW facilities, health and other necessary assistance.
“Labor’s new rest stop would also remove hundreds of parked semi-trailers from western Sydney streets,” Graham added.
“These trucks often have nowhere else suitable to go. It will also tackle the issue for long distance drivers that there is no practical toilet stop between Pheasant’s Nest and Wyong.”
Graham acknowledged that Sydney streets in and around industrial designated areas rarely have sufficient parking for trucks.
“As a result, heavy vehicles are left to drive around streets, especially in Western Sydney.
“Drivers risk heavy fines for not stopping in accordance with fatigue management requirements. The additional ‘laps’ looking for parking also increase the risk of crashes and potential injuries.”
Graham also thanked RFNSW for its continued advocacy on this “important subject”.
“Truck drivers and the freight industry played an essential role in supporting the community through the pandemic and continue to ensure communities are served during fires and floods,” he said.
“The next NSW government must make this important amenity a priority.”