Protecting freight routes in a growing municipality and improving safety on shared roads were two key findings of a landmark study conducted by council.
The City of Greater Bendigo’s draft freight study, which consulted hundreds of local operators and businesses, recommends upgrading key intersections and prioritising ‘freight corridors’ to facilitate better movement of goods.
Options for a freight corridor between Marong and Epsom, including alternative connections to the Bendigo Livestock Exchange and protecting freight routes from encroaching development were outcomes of the report.
The study, which questioned a number of local drivers, investigated why many B-double trucks were often seen travelling along Pall Mall.
Contrary to popular belief that drivers consider it the quickest north-south route, many surveyed drivers said they got lost, due to inadequate road signs.
According to the study, calls for help with directions are heard on the two-way radio channel 40 on a daily basis and local operators find themselves guiding other drivers around the city centre who, in fact, prefer to avoid it due to congestion.
Another issue raised by the majority of those interviewed related to fatigue management, specifically, the drivers spoke about the need for improved rest-stop facilities in Marong.
City of Greater Bendigo director strategy and growth Bernie O’Sullivan said the study was a recommendation of the Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy (ITLUS).
“ITLUS identified a gap in our knowledge when it came to freight, so this study was designed to address that need,” he said.
“We have consulted with industry to gain a better understanding of the issues and opportunities for freight movement in our municipality and beyond.
Other findings of the study were exploring the use of education and technology to improve road safety issues.
Developing a ‘travel options app’, which combines real time traffic information and the location of nearby facilities, was another outcome of the study.
The report is open for public comment until October 13.