The fence that is stopping truckies from parking across from the McDonalds at Gatton.
The fence that is stopping truckies from parking across from the McDonalds at Gatton.

No Loo For You: Truckies fenced out of toilet stop

IAN Rickuss is fuming that truckies have been banned from using an informal parking bay along the Warrego Hwy near Gatton.

As Member for Lockyer, Mr Rickuss has taken up the fight to get answers after a fence appeared on the side of the highway stopping trucks from being able to stop across from the Gatton McDonald's and service station recently.

When he wrote to the Department of Transport and Main Roads for an explanation as to why the barrier was installed they said it was "illegal" for trucks to stop in the informal parking bay - which was on the west-bound side of the road.

Mr Rickuss said he's spoken to truckies who felt they had been unfairly treated.

The department expects transport operators to comply with log book regulations and yet they take away the option to use reasonably appointed facilities.

"Again, it appears to be bureaucrats making decisions with little or no knowledge about what they do."

In correspondence to Mr Rickuss that Big Rigs has seen, a Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said they had a "no standing" sign in place for some time at the area and had received a "number of public complaints".

"We have had a number of public complaints about vehicles stopping at this location because they are a hazard when they try to merge back onto the highway (particularly heavy vehicles)," the spokesperson said.

"In addition, the practice of drivers stopping at this location and then crossing on foot four lanes of traffic on a National Highway in a 100km/h zone is highly dangerous and is a practice we could not allow to continue.

There is a dedicated right turn lane into the BP McDonald's facility for westbound traffic which will accommodate all vehicles up to and including B-Double trucks. We encourage drivers to use this facility.

"As you know, there is a dedicated U-turn facility at Moroney Rd for those drivers to safely resume their journey westbound towards Toowoomba.

"In addition, there is a formal heavy vehicle stopping place approximately one kilometre further west.

"It is for these reasons we have erected a chain wire fence as a physical barrier to prevent people from stopping at this location.

"We advised both the BP Service Station and the McDonald's restaurant about the fencing works prior to its installation."

The only problem with the suggestion to stop one kilometre more down the road near the UQ Gatton campus is there are no toilet, food or shower facilities present.

"I have put forward the option that at least the department install toilet facilities at the pads near the UQ Gatton Campus, however, this appears to be in the too hard basket," Mr Rickuss said.

"As I have stated in my correspondence, in the over 12 years that I have been the Member for Lockyer I have never received one complaint about trucks pulling up on the highways near McDonald's."

Mr Rickuss responded to the departments comments that B-doubles could safely enter the McDonald's and then do a U-turn to head west again: "If you feel that a 65tonne B-Double doing a u turn on the Warrego Hwyor turning right across a number of lanes of traffic on the Warrego Hwy, from what could be a dead stop is safer than blending into one lane on the Warrego Highway, could you please supply me with the statistics that justify this comment?"

I realise there are some pads further along the highway, but unless you wish to have truck drivers defecate on the side of the road, toilets should be installed.

"I have previously requested that toilets be installed at this site because I have noticed that when the department and police run a traffic monitoring program at the location, they hire toilets.

"I am sure you are also aware, that truck drivers are compelled by their log books to make stops at certain times, included in these stops are their meal breaks.

"As there are no cooking facilities or access to a food outlet at the location in front of the Gatton Campus of the UQ, I feel it is somewhat disingenuous of the department to try to be tyrannical to the heavy vehicle industry drivers.

"Could you please advise the number of accidents that have been caused by trucks merging with traffic at this site at Crowley Vale?

"I have had a lot more complaints about the pedestrian crossing at Withcott and the department has done nothing.

"I have had no complaints about the trucks stopping at Crowley Vale and the department has made a puzzling decision."

What do you think, is this an important stop for truckies? Leave a comment below.

Big Rigs

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