Friday, June 03, 2011

Freeway ban on trucks lifted



THE ban on heavy vehicles using the Poreporena Freeway was lifted at noon yesterday, The National reports.

The consensus was reached between transport operators, transport authorities and police in a stakeholders meeting.

Government sector agencies, including the Department of Transport, police, National Road Authority and the Department of Works met in a separate meeting.

All vehicles weighing more than 40 tonnes would now use the left lane.

Policy and planning deputy secretary Philip Habon said certain regulations would have to be met while accessing the Poreporena Freeway.

He said, for the meantime, operators were advised that trucks should carry a load limit of between 40 and 43 tonnes, maintain a speed limit of 60kph and 30kph downhill, erect road signs and establish media awareness.

“Any vehicles exceeding 43 tonnes will be taken off the road,” he said.

The long-term plan will be to buy a weigh machine station to ensure trucking companies and operators follow these rules.

“This would require sourcing of funds to bring in such machinery into the country,” Habon said.

He said all trucking companies should join the Road Transport Association so that such issues could be taken up by relevant authorities to address.

 “Driver behaviour, road designs and vehicle defects were the culmination of different factors that came into play,” he said.

“Police have a duty to protect lives and property over an extended period of time.

“They had every right to do what they did.”  

National Road Authority chief executive officer Roy Mumu said the reconstruction of the safety concrete slab by NCDC “will undergo review by NRA and Department of Works”.

He said he hoped that road signs would be re-erected along the Poreporena Freeway and that they would be observed and taken care of by road users and the public.

“More consultations with the industry and government agencies will continue in future,” he said.

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