Council approves longer B-doubles
DRIVING some bush roads to the north of Bellingen is about to involve a lot more vigilance.
The Bellingen Council has approved a request from Forests NSW for even longer B-doubles to be able to haul logs through the area.
Prior to Wednesday’s decision to permit 25-metre B-doubles access roads in Gordonville, Gleniffer, Hydes Creek and Valery, contractors were able to use 19-metre B-doubles.
Councillor Kerry Child was the lone voice of protest against the recommendation.
“There are some major safety issues attached to the routes and so I can’t support letting 25-metre B-doubles access to the area,” Cr Child said.
“I am concerned about lines of sight, blind corners and old timber bridges along the routes,” she said.
“We’re talking about very winding narrow roads so we need to get Forests NSW to make these roads as safe as they possibly can.”
Cr Gordon Braithwaite said he wasn’t overly worried about the safety issues Cr Child had raised.
“Forests NSW manages about 9500 hectares of former APM Forests in the shire and there have been no problems with log trucks in the past, and I don’t foresee any problems with allowing 25-metre B-doubles,” Cr Braithwaite said.
Cr Bruce Cronin said the routes did not impinge on roads commonly used by tourists.
“The residents of these areas know and understand the conditions as do the truck drivers, and because of the very nature of the roads these b-doubles won’t be travelling very fast at all”, Cr Cronin said.
The recommendation was passed with only Cr Child voting against it.
The passage of the 25-metre B-doubles won’t be without restrictions.
They will only be allowed to ply the roads in day light hours outside of school bus hours.
The trucks will also be limited to speeds of 40kph or less.