To say that another public rest area is required along the Gregory Developmental Road between Clermont and Charters Towers in Queensland would be an understatement.
In fact, the only rest area located near Cape River has just had surveillance equipment installed.
It and the Belyando Roadhouse have the only public toilets along the 375km stretch.
For decades the highway has been an important inland route for many truck drivers as a shorter alternative to the coastal Bruce Highway.
When parts of the Bruce Highway are cut off during heavy rain it plays a major role in enabling the far north and Atherton Tablelands region to be supplied.
Trucks from around Australia use the route.
What has been of extreme interest to truckies recently is that electronic vehicle monitoring equipment has been installed at the area.
One eagle-eyed driver snapped pics and forwarded them onto to Spy.
“The rest area has been there for at least 10 years and has the only public toilet between Clermont and Charters Towers,” he said.
“There is a camera and light set-up that counts the vehicles in and out, sending the status to a pair of automatic signs a few kilometres either side of Cape River rest stop.”
Belyando Roadhouse is located 179km north of Clermont, or 196km south of Charters Towers and is the only fuel stop on this stretch. Cape River is 112km south of Charters Towers and the rest area is close to the road.
If you want a call of nature when not near the rest area or roadhouse you have to stop at one of the primitive pull off areas to relieve yourself.
One inadequate pull off area is 31km south of Belyando Crossing – and is basically just a patch of dirt close to the highway.
It often has litter left and smells of urine after people have stopped for a “Jimmy Riddle”, or even human waste sometimes after a number two.
Food wrappings, toilet paper and plastic bottles filled with urine-coloured liquid often litter these unofficial truck stopping bays.
Even though the route is fully sealed after being done in stages over many years, it is still nominated by many drivers as challenging to negotiate.
One the major concerns is that the road has no shoulders along many sections.
Another is that the rest area can be invaded by van drivers and other motorists leaving little space for heavy vehicles.
While the rest area will be used by many of our drivers, most would still want another one or two beside such a long stretch – ideally one for truckies only.