Goodaye all, finally made it home yesterday, two weeks living in the truck nothing to those who do Perth etc or as in the USA, go away for months at a time, but they either have a house for a sleeper, or far better truckstops and facilities than we mostly do! Now a couple of blokes had a go at me for stopping in the roadhouse parking area. Seems I can’t win. Yes I had to have a 24 hour break, so where can you do your washing, get food and have a toilet and shower available. Many want such things when on a break, why can’t I?
Whilst I was there on a Saturday/Sunday, I never saw trucks have to leave because there was nowhere to park, but it was chockers when I went back Tuesday night to fuel, on my way out again. It has been an interesting week, lousy roads up that way, both the highways and into mine sites, some good rest areas, some useless and some big spaces between either.
Had to do a changeover at Moree Thursday night, been in Qld for nearly ten days and two hours into NSW and back, only stepped foot in the parking bay and spoke with one driver, but had to wait at the border for my test result to get back into Qld. Seems Victoria do not require any tests now, but a different pass, so we will see what Qld end up doing. Again, why seven sets of rules?
One thing I have noticed is a proliferation of STOPPING Bays, yet most of them are useless and of course, the authorities will say, we have provided them for you, so why whinge. It is like parking bays, it is all well and good to build something so they can say they have, it is another to actually get what you need and the third part is value for money. No matter what it has cost, whose idea, plan or scheme it is, if it does not provide for those it is intended to serve, then it is at the least a waste of money and at the worst, a completely missed opportunity.
Many months ago during a phone call to one of the serious government agencies who look into roads and their uses, I raised this issue. Do we have national guideline s for Stopping Bays, is it legal to sleep in them, who designs them and what are they actually intended to do and or provide? I was told there would have to be a study, but why? Why can’t someone simply see what is currently being done and propose a national set of standards, design principles and guidelines? Who are they for, what do they intend to provide and then why are there ten in a row (one place I saw, the next was within sight of the last, what a ridiculous waste of money) then nothing for hundreds of kilometres!
This is why we need a national rest area strategy. Why then will none of the other industry associations support this as part of the NRFA 6 point plan? Natroad have come out saying there should be money for rest areas, absolutely, but where, what style etc? Will any of the Natroad board ever sleep in one, I doubt it, so how will they use this money if it ever gets allocated. Will we again see stuff done with good intent and lousy delivery? I am very frustrated with roads and rest areas, the money spent badly, the money not spent at all and yet we are not only expected to manage our fatigue and comply, we are severely punished if we don’t. How can you win? When you have the answer, let me know. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.