Large semi trailers will be banned from the town centre of this small South Australian town, while plans for a permanent solution such as a bypass remain up in the air.
The move follows advocating by locals to reduce the number of large trucks using Main Street in Hahndorf, a popular tourist town in the Adelaide Hills.
As part of the plan, heavy vehicles carrying logs and livestock will be removed from the town centre.
Non-local semi-trailers, pig and dog trailers over 15 metres in length will be redirected down an upgraded River Road.
‘No Trucks Over 15m in Length’ signage will be installed to alert drivers to the changed entry rules – with exemptions only if they are taking freight to Main Street businesses or other destinations they cannot reach by any other route.
The change is expected to remove almost all large heavy vehicles from the Main Street – a reduction of around 130 trucks a day, which the SA Government says is the equivalent to that modelled under previous bypass options, but not everyone agrees that this is the best solution.
Mount Barker District Council Mayor, David Leach, told 7News Adelaide, “130 extra vehicle movements along River Road is not all that significant.” This comes as many locals continue to push for a bypass, to help ease the town’s traffic congestion issues.
According to SA transport minister Tom Koutsantonis, “Logs and livestock on large semi-trailer trucks don’t belong on Hahndorf’s Main Street. We have already announced extensive projects that will benefit Hahndorf and the broader Hills community, including significant upgrades.”
Residents have voiced their concerns about not wanting a bypass to involve significant property acquisition, or major impacts on environment, amenity or the historic town’s character.
Koutsantonis continued, “It’s clear there is ongoing and significant concern about large trucks in particular on Hahndorf’s Main Street. While there has been in-principle support in the community for a bypass, last year’s extensive engagement showed there was no clear standout among the four options mooted under the former Liberal government – and each one also had strong opposition in some quarters.
“There was also a clear message that residents did not want a bypass to involve significant property acquisition, or major impacts on environment, amenity or character. Residents of Paechtown were overwhelmingly opposed to the option put forward by some in the Hahndorf township to carve a bypass through their community, that would have also devastated the iconic Beerenberg Farm.”
Trucks that aren’t supplying to the Hahndorf township will be diverted to alternate routes such as River Road or Strathalbyn Road.
Upgrades are also planned for River Road including shoulder sealing and tree trimming, along with intersection improvements at Kangaroo Reef Road, Sawmill Gully Road and Fairview Road.
Improvements at the Strathalbyn Road/River Road and Mount Barker Road/River Road junctions are also planned, along with works such as shoulder sealing and tree trimming at locations along Strathalbyn Road.
This would occur in conjunction with measures already announced under works being funded by the federal and state governments on an 80:20 basis, including the development of a full interchange at Verdun and a major upgrade at the Mount Barker Interchange, which could separately remove a further 940 cars and smaller trucks each day from the Main Street, according to modelling.
The ban will be monitored to assess its impact – with fines of over $400 and three demerit points for those who break the rules – while longer-term solutions to broader traffic issues in Hahndorf are considered.
“We agree that trucks with logs and livestock shouldn’t be using this town hub as a thoroughfare, and we have devised an alternative solution that can be delivered at a significantly lower cost, with no disruptive property acquisitions and no impact on Paechtown or the iconic Beerenberg Farm,” added Koutsantonis.
“While there will always be a need for some trucks to use the Main Street for local deliveries, this ban will get all non-local large heavy vehicles off the town’s central strip.
“The campaign for a bypass has been a divisive one in the local community, and we are confident that this simple, elegant solution will satisfy all sides.
“We are speaking to the Mount Barker District Council about how we can implement these changes as soon as possible. More may need to be done in the longer term to address traffic issues in Hahndorf, but this is a decisive interim measure that means we can rid Main Street of larger trucks, straight away.”
While these changes are set to remove trucks from the town’s main centre, in recent weeks, a truckie was fined for trying to do the exact same thing in a rural NSW town.
Brian Leihn was fined $711 when he tried to avoid Boorowa’s busy town centre in his B-double due to serious safety concerns about using the street which is narrow, has high pedestrian traffic and nose to kerb parking.