Truckie angry over closure of ‘Dust Bowl’ parking bay near Sydney

This week’s closure of the ‘Dust Bowl’, an informal parking bay for truckies on the Hume Highway at Menangle, NSW, has left high-profile truckie Rod Hannifey fuming.

Transport for NSW sent truckies packing on Thursday (February 29) because it says it needs the northbound space to help complete Stage 1 of the Spring Farm Parkway connection.

Hannifey said the bay could accommodate up to five or six B-doubles at a time, but it is now reserved exclusively for Oversize Overmass (OSOM) vehicles.

“We’ve been telling them there’s not enough parking in Sydney, they’ve said they’re going to do something, and what are they going to do? They’re going to take away another bay,” the interstate truckie said.

“They’re going to argue we need a dedicated OSOM bay, and I have no problem with that, but they should be building a new one, not repurposing what’s already there and reducing the total number.”

Hannifey said he doesn’t buy the argument that there is room at nearby Pheasants Nest.

“Yes, they have increased capaciity [there], but is it enough? I don’t think it is. They’ve promised us parking in Sydney, nothing has been done, and now they’re going to take another step to reduce it even further.

“There is now nothing between Pheasants Nest and Wyong, if you’re travelling to Sydney.”

A spokesperson for TfNSW confirmed to Big Rigs that the Dust Bowl is now only for the use of OSOM vehicles, and that heavy and light vehicles will need to use an alternate location such as Eastern Creek, Pheasants Nest, Sutton Forest, Mt Ousley and Picton Road.

“As a priority of the NSW government, Transport has collaborated with the road freight industry and is working to improve the quantity and quality of heavy vehicle rest stops in NSW,” the spokesperson said.

“Several projects are underway and are in the investigation planning, design, and delivery phases. Transport is working to improve heavy vehicle rest stopping facilities across both regional NSW and Greater Sydney to support driver wellbeing and assist drivers to comply with fatigue management regulations.”

1 Comment

  1. Does this then put drivers at risk of being fined, for driving out of hours, just to try and find somewhere safe to pull up????

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