Truckies’ parking options in Rocky cut by more than half

Truckies have been snubbed again when it comes to adequate parking through a major transport hub, says high-profile truckies’ advocate Rod Hannifey.

Hannifey was reacting to the recent changes by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to the northbound and southbound bays on the Bruce Highway opposite the Ampol servo in Rockhampton, Queensland.

Almost 3000 trucks a day pass by these popular rest areas, which used to be able to accommodate up to 10 B-doubles on the north side, and two in the other direction.

But since TMR got involved, interstate truckie Hannifey says the parking options have shrunk by more than half.

“They’ve gone and spent, I don’t know, $500,000, and we’ve gone from room for 10 trucks, or more, back to four B-doubles [on the north side],” said Hannifey, who is also the president of the National Road Freighters Association (NRFA).

“Before you just had a big dirt bay but they’ve now put guttering on it, lines on it, and one row of trucks with one through lane.

“On the other side of the road [southbound], in front of the Ampol, you used to be able to park two abreast. Now they’ve changed that as well and now we can only park one B-double there because they’ve put in an island and a through-lane.”

Truckies used to be able to park two abreast here. Image: Kent Murray

Hannifey, who also sits on the industry rest stop committee appointed by Senator Carol Brown, said he was so incensed with what he saw during his most recent run through the regional hub that he put in an official complaint with TMR.

“We know we’re struggling to get more bays and yet here we are spending money and reducing it by more than half,” Hannifey said.

Truckies were quick to support Hannifey when we put the callout for feedback on the upheaval at Rocky on the Facebook group On the Pads “Qld Edition”.

“Northbound now resembles a poorly built bus stop,” David Oxley said.

“Rocky is an absolute joke for truckies. Nowhere south of the river to pull up, have a feed and shower unless you go 40km further to Marmor

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Rocky, Mackay and Cairns are all a disgrace for us truckies. Big regional towns don’t give a rats.”

Added Niell Graham: “Yep, they have made a complete mess of it. You can now only get three B-doubles parked up northbound, whereas before you could get eight, or more easily in there.

“They have also put in traffic islands on the south bound side out the front of A mart and the Caltex with only parking spaces marked out against the foot path with the right side being a through lane.

“Now the only parking is Parkhurst where there are no toilet facilities after the KFC closes at 10pm.”

Brisbane truckie Bob Piercey also shared his views on the changes at Rockhampton with cameraman Kent Murray in the clip below.

Rocky truckie Michael Cooke said the bays were built that way because “they expect no one to use it once the bypass goes in”.

“To be honest, yes it was bigger beforehand, BUT that was only if people parked properly.

“I’ve seen that whole dirt pad completely useless with only two trucks parked up because they were both parked without a care in the world for anyone else, at least now it is solid and don’t have people just parking however they feel half-arsed across the paddock.”

Truckie Trevor Warner, the national secretary of the NRFA, isn’t confident the parking will be any better for truckies once the long-awaited ring road is finished.

“TMR Rockhampton has basically given all truckies the big middle finger and silently indicated, ‘bugger off, you’re not wanted in our town’,” he said.

A TMR spokesperson told Big Rigs that the Bruce Highway changes were made as part of “important safety upgrades” between Farm and Carlton Street.

“TMR undertook industry engagement in early 2023 to provide advice about the formalisation of truck access and parking in this area,” the spokersperson said.

“These safety improvements now provide improved intersections and safer access to businesses and education facilities for all road users.”

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