Heavy vehicle access opened up on Thunderbolts Way at Bundarra

12 October 2021

FARMERS and livestock carriers doing a round trip between Uralla and Inverell will now shave two hours of travel time off their trips, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing heavy vehicles operating under the NSW Livestock Loading Scheme would have conditional access to Bundarra’s Lone Pine Bridge.

Mr Marshall said it was a huge win for local primary producers and freight operators.

“After talking with industry stakeholders, I asked Transport for NSW engineers to assess the bridge and deem it safe for heavy vehicles operating under the Scheme, reducing the length of the journey and providing significant productivity gains,” Mr Marshall said.

“While the change vastly improves the efficient movement of freight, there are also significant safety benefits for livestock transporters, and other road users, as well as welfare benefits to animals being transported.

“I’m really pleased this practical and sensible change has been made to assist our farmers a rural industries.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said it marked the final piece of the puzzle for Thunderbolts Way, opening up 120 kilometres to Livestock Loading Scheme operators and enabling seamless access between the two towns.

“The New England region is NSW’s highest value producer of livestock meat, contributing almost $1 billion or about half of all gross value of agricultural commodities produced in the New England region,” Mr Toole said.

“Prior to allowing vehicles to operate at Livestock Loading Scheme masses, heavy vehicle drivers couldn’t use Lone Pine Bridge, so had to travel about 68 kilometres further to get their stock to market.”

Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) president Paul Pulver welcomed the decision to open access along Lone Pine Bridge.

“This is a great outcome for livestock carriers who will experience first-hand the productivity and safety benefits of this improved access,” Mr Pulver said.

“Opening up the bridge to the increased mass unlocks the final constraint, securing seamless access for livestock carriers who operate under the Livestock Loading Scheme. It’s a win for operators and it’s a win for local farmers.”

Signs have been placed at each end of the bridge, directing one heavy vehicle to use the bridge at a time.

As an added measure, LBRCA has recommended drivers use truck-to-truck UHF communications when two heavy vehicles arrive at the bridge around the same time to coordinate crossings.

Transport for NSW is committed to improving heavy vehicle access across the state’s road network to increase freight productivity and efficiency without compromising on safety or the environment.

The NSW Livestock Loading Scheme was developed in consultation with meat and livestock industry stakeholders, Local Government NSW and Transport for NSW and provides significant productivity gains to the NSW meat and livestock industry.

To access the NSWLLS interactive network map go to www.nswroads.work/llsmap

To learn more about the NSWLLS or how Transport for NSW is working to improve freight outcomes visit Transport for NSW Freight hub.

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