Air brakes causing headaches for Yarra’s Edge residents

Air brakes causing headaches for Yarra’s Edge residents

By Jack Alfonso

The Department of Transport (DoT) has said it holds no current plans to install signs deterring truck drivers from using air brakes along Lorimer St, despite a petition being initiated by Yarra’s Edge residents in December.

The DoT cited the integral role of engine brakes in a truck’s braking system, deeming that it would be inappropriate to restrict truck drivers from using them in potentially necessary circumstances as the main reason not to place “Trucks Avoid Using Engine Brakes” signs in the area.

“We understand the effect road noise can have on residential areas, particularly for those living near busy freeways,” a DoT spokesperson said.

“We’re working with the community and industry to reduce overall traffic noise levels and to limit noise impacts in our inner-city suburbs in a carefully planned way while keeping freight moving.”

The news comes after Yarra’s Edge residents started a petition to install signs to counter the “completely unacceptable” and “deafening” use of air brakes.

“This is a dense residential area and the air brakes negatively affect quality of life for all who reside here,” one local resident wrote online.

“There is a definite noise issue with trucks using air brakes, not only in Lorimer St, but on the freeway behind it. The empty trucks using Lorimer St also make a lot of noise going over the manhole covers. Sleeping is definitely an issue,” another said.

The petition itself highlights residents’ beliefs that authorities have neglected to consider the noise pollution surrounding Yarra’s Edge as the residential area has been developed.

“This area of Melbourne should never have been developed into a residential area if authorities were not willing to stop trucks using air brakes in the area,” the petition stated.

In a letter to the editor addressed to Docklands News last month, Yarra’s Edge resident Matt Lyon cited the installation of similar signs in nearby areas such as Ingles and Pickles streets in Port Melbourne as a potential solution.

“This problem could be alleviated quite simply by the installation of signs along Lorimer St near the Yarra’s Edge development for truck drivers not to use engine brakes in this area,” he said.

The issue was raised as part of a Lorimer St planning application which went before councillors at the Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting on February 16. In the report from management, the City of Melbourne (CoM) cited the need for glazing and concrete in new buildings to reduce the effect of noise pollution from traffic, highlighting their awareness on the issue.

The CoM did not respond to questions raised into the matter by Docklands News, but did refer to the acoustic report included as part of the motion presented at FMC on February 16.

The issues were raised with the council and local police in June last year after then Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood and local police met with local residents regarding a series of hoon related incidents in the precinct •

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