Grannies looking for answers

THE Angry Grannies, well-known local Pacific Highway campaigners, are not reassured by the announcement last week (CCA 10/7/07) that B-triples will not be using the Pacific Highway.

According to spokeswoman, Woolgoolga resident Margaret Murphy, the reprieve is only a short term one.

"Mr Hartsukyer said it was inappropriate for the B-triples to use the Pacific Highway while there are significant road works occurring," Mrs Murphy said.

"What happens when the upgrades are completed and we have a motorway through the middle of our urban areas?

"Will these trucks be using our roads then?

"B-triples are like front row forwards, you can't stop them.

"Local traffic should never mix with heavy freight."

Mrs Murphy said the claim by Mr Hartsukyer that upgrading the freight rail route between Sydney and Brisbane would take 120,000 semitrailers off the road sounded impressive but didn't actually amount to much.

"According to Auslink 2, predicted heavy vehicle freight movements are set to triple to 3.2 million trips per year.

"Based on our traffic count in October, 2006, heavy vehicle movements would therefore increase from 3000 to 8671.

"Reducing road freight by 120,000 semitrailers is only 3.65 per cent of the total movements."

Mrs Murphy said a road freight corridor was needed and transport networks should be looked at from a national perspective.

"It's the people who are affected," she said.

"But the politicians seem more intent on caring for the transport lobby rather than their constituents. Mr Hartsukyer is not interested in talking to us."

The member for Cowper, Luke Hartsukyer, said Mrs Murphy had not actually requested a meeting with him.

"We have had a number of communications from Mrs Murphy but by our records she has made no request for a meeting," Mr Hartsukyer said.

He said the $500 million currently being invested in upgrading the rail freight route between Sydney and Brisbane would improve freight train travel time by four hours and help smooth out the hiccups caused when freight trains interfaced with city commuter trains around Sydney.

"The Federal Government has also committed to building the Brisbane to Melbourne freight rail link," he said.

"The benefits of this will be huge because this route would bypass the Sydney congestion."



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