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Tough new truck curfews hit Melbourne’s west

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Image: Scott Olson/Getty Image

The state government has today announced a fresh curfew on trucks in Melbourne’s west.

Under the new scheme trucks that produce cleaner energy will have greater access to transport routes in the City of Maribyrnong, while more polluting trucks will have their access reduced.

Martin Wurt, President of the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group, said Australian trucks are particularly polluting.

“We have one of the oldest truck fleets in the world. It’s almost 15 years old, almost double the age of European truck fleets,” he told 3AW’s Nick McCallum.

“A lot of the trucks running around our streets have no pollution controls whatsoever.”

Trucks which meet Euro 5 compliance standards produce an estimated 90 per cent less pollution than the older vehicles which are common on Australian roads.

Mr Wurt said high levels of truck pollution are contributing to poor health among kids in the area.

“We have one of the highest hospital admission rates for children with respiratory ailments and these curfew changes will hopefully reduce that,” he said.

Under the new plan, trucks built before 2010 have had their access to a zone bordered by Geelong Road, Ballarat Road and the West Gate Freeway cut by two hours per day.

In 2021 access to the restricted zone will be cut by another two hours per day for highly polluting trucks.

Speed limits along key trucking routes will also be reduced to 50 kilometres per hour, and curfew compliance will be electronically monitored for the first time.

Drivers who are caught in the restricted zone outside of the allowed hours will be slugged with a $165 on the spot fine.

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