Trucks would be banned from Melbourne’s CBD during daylight hours under a bold new plan floated by the state’s peak advocate for the transport industry.
Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson said it was time for governments to think outside the box when dealing with congestion.
“(Lord Mayor) Sally Capp came out with a ridiculous plan recently of keeping vehicles out of the city,” he said.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that, but we can better manage the flow of traffic through the CBD.”
Under the proposal, most heavy vehicles would be banned from the city during the day and tighter restrictions would apply to street parking to allow for clearways.
At night, trucks would then be allowed to move freely and park outside stores when performing deliveries.
“At the moment we have trucks reversing down lanes and all sorts of things to get out of the traffic,” Mr Anderson said.
“Under this idea, traffic flows through the city and both groups are using the space more effectively.”
Night-time noise restrictions currently apply to garbage trucks in the CBD, with waste collection banned between 11pm and 6am.
But Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Mark Stone said an outright truck ban during the day was not practical.
“Many of Melbourne’s 16,000 businesses rely on goods deliveries during the day and do not have sufficient staff to be on their premises for out-of-hours deliveries,” she said.
“Restricting goods delivery to after-hours would add to business cost, making it more expensive to run a business in the CBD.
“Congestion in Melbourne is expected to worsen so all options should be considered, but the solution shouldn’t make it more difficult for Melbourne’s businesses to operate.”
On an average weekday, more than 10,000 delivery vehicles access the city.
A City of Melbourne spokeswoman said recent discussion papers had discussed off-peak delivery periods.
“In order for this to work, businesses would need to adapt to be able to receive goods after and before traditional opening hours,” she said.