Cyclists are celebrating winning a three-year battle to ban semi-trailers from a busy road, while outraged truckies have been left reeling in the wake of the controversial decision.
Truck drivers in Victoria have slammed the state government for authorising the ban, which means they are no longer permitted to travel down Beach Road in Melbourne.
The new road regulations, which will come into effect in two weeks, will force about 8,000 trucks each day to take a default route down Nepean Highway.
Cyclists and locals have been battling to ban truck drivers from Beach Road (pictured) for three years
The newly imposed restriction has been implemented after a three-year campaign by cyclists and local residents, who implored the authorities to rid the road of trucks.
While residents complained of air pollution, noise and busy roads, cyclists were worried about their safety.
‘If we can take this biggest heaviest machinery off the roads that’s only going to be good for cycling,’ cyclist Melinda Jacobsen told 7 News.
‘There’s nothing more intimating than hearing the rumble of a truck coming up behind you because cyclists never come off well when there’s an interaction with a truck,’ she added.
(File picture) Victoria truckies have slammed the state for authorising the ban, which means they are no longer permitted to travel down Beach Road
Cyclist Melinda Jacobsen (pictured right) said the new ban would be good for cyclists and their safety
The only exemption to the rule will be truck drivers who are making local deliveries.
While cyclists celebrated, infuriated truck drivers took to social media to vent their frustrations at the ban.
One wrote: ‘That’s Labor’s logic for [you] the people who pay the rego and fuel taxes to build the roads can’t use them but the people who don’t pay for the roads get to use them.’
(File picture) Infuriated truck drivers took to social media to vent their frustrations at the ban
Another added: ‘Australia is downhill here on in.’
‘Are you serious!? Imagine how bad the Nepean Hwy is going to be now! All because of cyclists. I drive a truck…. this is absolutely ridiculous,’ another said.
One truck driver suggested they should boycott the area in retaliation.
‘Us truck drivers should stop going to Melbourne all together, see long those f*****s live for we don’t go there they all starve,’ he wrote.
‘What’s next? Taking cars off the road,’ another questioned, while yet another asked: ‘What’s Australia coming to?’
The only exemption to the rule will be truck drivers who are making local deliveries in the area
However, some cyclists defended the new road regulations.
‘About time [a] good win for the cyclist, no good complaining as l also ride a bike and the close calls we have and lately, cars truck please get of those bloody phones as you are doing the wrong thing.
‘Give the cyclist a fare (sic) go it could be your [friend] or family member on that bike, thought for today,’ they wrote.
In a bid to combat concerns about the influx of traffic on Nepean Highway, spokesperson for VicRoads said they will be motoring how vehicles ‘move across the network’ and will be looking into how they can make road trips more efficient.
Traffic lights will also be monitored and tweaked if needed.
While the Minister for Roads argued the ban will improve traffic flow.
‘By introducing truck bans on Beach Road, we’ll improve the flow of traffic and reduce congestion,’ Minister for Roads Jaala Pulford said in a statement issued to Daily Mail Australia.
‘We’re leaving local roads for cars and moving freight onto freight routes, which will improve traffic flow and increase safety for the hundreds of visitors to the area as well as the local community,’ he added.
A cyclist named Annie was injured while cycling down Beach Road in 2015, by fellow cyclists participating in a group ride named ‘hell ride’
The ban comes after many cyclists found themselves in harm’s way while cycling down Beach Road.
In 2015, a notorious group ride name ‘hell ride’ caused a number of cyclists, who weren’t participating in the ride, to be knocked over and severely injured.
One of those was a woman named Annie who suffered a fractured skull, fluid in her ear and a bruised lung.
In 2017, another incident saw a male cyclist almost die when a truck pulled out in front of him causing him to ride head first into the side of the driver’s door.