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Full Newell Highway now open to road trains

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Road trains have now been given access to the entire length of the Newell Highway in a bid to help boost productivity.

All eligible vehicles up to 36.5m long and Performance Based Standards (PBS) Level 3 vehicles will now have end-to-end access on the Newell, which Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole describes as “a huge win for the freight industry”.

“This is a game changer for people moving product along one of our state’s most important freight corridors,” Toole said.

“We trialled this expanded road train access through the drought and again through last year’s bumper grain harvest and we know it provides significant productivity and safety gains, potentially reducing truck movements by as much as 40 per cent.”

Toole added that gazetted access would now be available to all eligible vehicles up to 36.5 metres long along more than 1000 kilometres of highway including through Parkes, irrespective of the cargo carried.

“Parkes was the last section of the Newell where road trains were restricted but the trials we did with road trains to move fodder through drought and last year’s harvest has guided this change,” Toole said.

“By granting road trains permanent access to the last remaining section of the highway without the need for a permit, it will improve the efficiency, sustainability and safety of freight transport in the region which is developing into an important freight hub.

“As we know, these higher productivity vehicles are able move as much as 63 per cent more freight per trip than a 26m B-double heavy vehicle, which means less trucks on our road, greater efficiency and reduced costs.

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark congratulated the NSW Government for allowing greater access to higher productivity vehicles (HPV).

“Initiatives that improve access for HPVs and make the freight task more efficient and safer are always welcome,” Clark said.

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