ORANGE council should leave nothing to chance or the whims of truck drivers when it comes to getting heavy vehicles off roads like Summer, Moulder and Anson streets.
When the final stage of the north Orange bypass is opened in less than two weeks there should be a substantial decline in the number of trucks using central business district (CBD) roads.
If this is not the case it should move quickly to get Roads and Maritime Services to impose weight restrictions on all streets in the centre of Orange. It should then enforce them vigorously.
Millions of dollars of ratepayers’ and taxpayers’ money has been spent to provide a bypass for trucks heading west. Late in the project council even committed extra money for floodlighting the Chinamans Bend turnoff so there would be nothing to discourage trucks from taking the bypass route and sparing city motorists and our hard-pressed roads from heavy traffic.
Unfortunately there are no guarantees that truck drivers will use a road built largely with them in mind.
The Chinamans Bend section, which links with the Narrambla industrial area before skirting around the northern edge of the city will mean trucks will no longer have to negotiate suburban traffic and small roundabouts in William Street.
This should appeal to the road transport industry but experience shows driving habits can be hard to break.
Figures compiled for the traffic committee show heavy vehicle traffic in Moulder Street actually increased substantially in the last 12-month period.
This is a trend council cannot allow to continue. With the exception of local deliveries all heavy vehicles should be forced from CBD and suburban roads using a network of weight restrictions.
Residents have put up with the noise and congestion of semitrailers grinding up Summer Street for decades. Having spent the money on the bypass the council must ensure it fulfils its purpose.