ROAD TRAIN operators have been given the green light to drive between Coonabarabran and Tamworth without permits thanks to the completion of the long-awaited Gunnedah overpass.
Unveiled earlier this week by NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minster Paul Toole, the new $61 million bridge will connect the Oxley Highway with the new Bloomfield Street bypass to allow trucks to travel through Gunnedah with ease.
"Gunnedah has been a significant freight pinchpoint in the North West, and the $61 million bridge linking the Oxley Highway with Warrabungle Street, will help fix that by allowing an uninterrupted flow of traffic for heavy vehicles," Mr Toole said.
"We've also seen the Gunnedah heavy vehicle bypass hit the finish line with a 1.8km stretch of Bloomfield Street upgraded to support B-doubles and other higher mass limit vehicles."
"Freight is the backbone of so many regional communities right across the state - worth $66 billion to the NSW economy each year - so it's important, especially in challenging times like this, that we invest in projects that make a real difference to the industry.
"Opening this stretch of road to higher productivity vehicles will help deliver savings and efficiencies to the freight and agricultural industries, which both play a huge role in local economies."
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Under the new agreement, which comes into effect this week, all road trains, including A-doubles, B-triples and AB-triples up to 36.5-metres-long, transporting any commodity, will have unrestricted access to the approved sections of the Oxley Highway.
Livestock Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) president Paul Pulver said having unrestricted road train access between Dubbo and Tamworth was "a huge win for transporters and farmers alike".
"This announcement is an example of what can be achieved when community, government and industry work together to achieve a better outcome for NSW businesses and communities, which are reliant on efficient and safe road freight services," Mr Pulver said.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the easing of conditions would deliver more efficient and sustainable journeys for road trains, and will provide greater route flexibility for freight operators moving in this area.
"This upgrade to access means less vehicles are needed to carry the same amount of freight, which improves productivity, reduces transportation costs and means less trucks on the road," Mr Anderson said.
"As communities right across the North West recover from drought, this unrestricted access will allow more efficient access from the farm to market, and better connectivity with the regional hub of Tamworth."
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