Freight connections will be improved across Victoria through the expansion of the High Productivity Freight Vehicle (HPFV) network according to the State Government.
The upgrades are anticipated to save farmers, freight operators and businesses time and money and further encourage freight operators to invest in newer, safer and cleaner vehicles.
Around 3,000 kilometres of road have been added to the pre-approved HPFV network, reducing costs and saving farmers and businesses time by eliminating the need for individual route assessments.
The new networks will be published online and include key freight routes along the Bass Highway, Murray Valley Highway, Wimmera Highway and Ballarat-Maryborough Road.
High Productivity Freight Vehicles are safer and more efficient modern vehicles that will reduce the number of truck trips needed on the network.
A-doubles, according to a media release issued by the Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll, that meet the HPFV specifications, which include strict safety and emissions requirements, will have improved access on these routes.
In addition, the Government is also issuing six new A-double tanker networks to help streamline the transportation of milk and other liquids across the state.
These routes have been developed with industry and tailored specifically to A-double tankers, which have different specifications and requirements to other A-doubles on the network.
The routes will reportedly provide more simple, safe and connected journeys for the movement of key products such as milk, grain and livestock in regional Victoria.
The expansion of the HPFV network only includes roads in regional Victoria and any trucks coming into metropolitan Melbourne will need to abide by existing curfews.
Truck curfews are enforced in areas including Melbourne’s inner west, to limit the number of heavy vehicles in busy residential areas.
“These upgrades will deliver stronger, safer and more reliable roads for the freight industry – meaning farmers and suppliers will be able to get their goods to market much more efficiently,” said Carroll.
“Improving the network will take trucks off local roads – backing local jobs and making our country roads safer,” he said.
Reducing freight costs and encouraging investment in safer, cleaner and more efficient trucks was a win for farmers, businesses, freight operators and the community said Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne.
“Improving access for High Productivity Freight Vehicle’s is vital to meeting the state’s growing freight industry needs as efficiently as possible while minimising the number of trucks trips on our road network,” she said.