Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Tripple Bs

B Double trucks are huge, yet we see them on our roads often enough, mixing it on roads with the cheapest and smallest car available. A B Double looks like it could drive over the top of a small car.

Now our governments are making noises about B Triples. One can't help be suspicious about governments being driven by people with vested interests.

I am working totally on memory here, as the information super highway was not imaginable back then, but B Double trucks arrived in Melbourne in the 1980s, so information is not readily available.

I remember heralding the arrival of B Doubles was the knowledge that they would b restricted to very few roads, that is major highways and port access roads. Nevertheless, many were not happy with the decision to have these very large trucks on our roads.

I have never been happy about B Double trucks, especially moving freight between major cities when there is a perfectly good rail service. I have heard all the arguments about the benefits of road freight, and I have not changed my mind. To me, it is plain common sense to move freight by rail between large cities.

You need to view this with Internet Explorer, but have a look at the roads that B Doubles are now allowed to use in greater Melbourne. Do you ever wonder about why our roads constantly fall to pieces? The ever disingenuous Vic Roads  has renamed the narrow but high usage north south Punt Road as Hoddle Highway. It is a highway then, so a big road for big trucks. Not so, and many of the roads on the Vic Road map that B Doubles can use are not much more that local streets. The thought of a a B Double at the corner of the centre of my greater Melbourne, Commercial Road and Chapel street is extraordinary, yet B Doubles can travel that path. Trams, cars, buses, pedestrians everywhere, why not throw a B Double into the mix.

Now we are facing the introduction of B Triple Trucks. Once again we are hearing that will be restricted to very few roads.  Apparently, according to a truck lobby group, they are safer. I am afraid the record of the trucking industry so far as safety is very much wanting. What we do need for trucks are laws along the lines of what England and Europe have and some serious money and effort put into freight railways between our capital cities.

Photo by Tom O'Connor.


14 comments:

  1. This proposal has also been raised for NSW. I can't imagine how they think Sydney's narrow, crooked street system would cope.

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    1. Victor, that is where I first heard of the plan, once the duplication of the Hume is complete. In noted they already travel from Adelaide to Perth and back.

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  2. "One can't help be suspicious about governments being driven by people with vested interests".. imagine that! Vested interests in high places! And I am loving the pun on "driven" :)

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    1. Hels, one larger than life person who may have an animal like name comes to mind. Pun unintended.

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  3. The shift from rail to truck has undoubtedly served on or two "vested interests", but saved a lot of money on infrastructure repair. If I remember the B Double rules weren't far behind the decisions made to close country stations and then to rip up unused rail lines [such as those near an army supply depot in Mangalore]. Even if it was hard to justify fixing the lines immediately, why surrender the land they travelled through and move the rails? Wouldn't it be good if the old inner circle railway was still intact - if only for the land it was on?

    These huge truck monsters are terrifying on the roads. There was talk of forbidding lane changes by trucks in tunnels - was that ever implemented?

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    1. FC, I don't know that it would have saved a lot of money on infrastructure repair when you consider what is spent on roads and truck facilities. Obviously I am not arguing for rail freight for small towns, although we used to have that and it was quite efficient. But for capital cities and regional towns, why not? Smaller trucks then deliver from there. The inner circle land should have been kept vacant. While a good bit of it is, some has been built on. Blame Cain, I think. The outer circle would have been quite useful too.

      By my observations, they have not been forbidden to travel in any lanes except the far right on the way to Geelong. The chaos of English town traffic is such a contrast to how orderly their motorway traffic is, with trucks, buses and caravans all in the left lane at 60mph, cars in the next lane at 70mph and the outside lane for overtaking and speedsters.

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  4. First let me congratulate you on your blog. Fabulous layout. Your research and content is amazing. B Triple Trucks! Oh dear, these have every potential to create havoc on our roads. J.

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    1. Thanks Joe, but don't overdo it. I keep my smug self satisfaction to myself, haha. You don't fancy seeing a B Triple running along Beaconsfield Parade?

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  5. I dread the thought of B triples being on our roads, even the B doubles are too big to be among city traffic. Riding a bike in regular traffic is scary enough already, that's why I stick to footpath riding.
    I'd like to see all major freight back on the rail system. Perhaps I'll make a note of that on my next voting form....

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  6. River, apparently the triple beasts do travel from Adelaide to Perth, I guess from the port, so not so much impact on the city.

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  7. Fookin nora, those things should not be anywhere near our roads. I saw the most ridiculous tail gating by a truck the other day, I was actually frightened for the poor cars it did it to.

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    1. I have seen the same Fen, and it is not nice to see. I delineate between idiots who deserve it and just slow people.

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  8. Lets get real and call them what they are and thats a Road Train - its way too dangerous

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    1. They pretty much are that T. and they don't belong on suburban roads.

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