'Keep left' call to have highway traffic moving

By KUE DAVIS

A BYPASS of Coffs Harbour is needed more than ever, with an increasing amount of trucks travelling through on the Pacific Highway causing anguish for motorists and truckies alike.

Owner of Hiltons Haulage in Bellingen, Hilton McLennan, has called for a change in traffic conditions to combat the problem.

"Trucks should be restricted to the left lane through town," he said.

"The rule is enforced in Europe and South Africa; I don't see why we can't give it a go in Coffs Harbour."

Moe Byard, who has been servicing the east coast for over 20 years with M&T Byard transport, said that in peak hour it can take more than half an hour to get through Coffs Harbour.

He also said that he could understand the logic of having trucks restricted to the left lane, but wasn't sure how it would be policed.

"There's no truckie I know that will sit waiting in the left lane of traffic if there's a free right lane," he said.

"It really is a situation where Coffs does need to be bypassed completely."

Mr McLennan also says a bypass is the best option but questioned how long it would take to come into effect.

"A bypass is definitely the best option but what year will it be finished? And what do we do until then?"

General Manager of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) NSW, Hugh McMaster, said that trucks should stay to the left but have the ability to overtake safely.

An RTA spokesperson said that better lane discipline means safer roads.

"In recognition of the frustration caused to motorists because of those who hog the right lane, the RTA has increased the fine from $130 and two demerit points to $238 and three demerits."



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