‘For safety’s sake! Please give us more rest areas!’

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Grey nomads need more rest areas on the Bruce Highway
Waverley Creek is a well appointed rest area ... we just need more like it! PIC: Daily Mercury

The shortage of rest areas on the Bruce Highway is forcing some road users to drive while tired and contributing to the large number of accidents, according to leading figures in the trucking industry.

And they are calling on the Government to ensure a portion of last week’s budget is spent on creating more driver stops.

Queensland Trucking Association CEO Gary Mahon told the Daily Mercury newspaper that – for truckies – the problem was exacerbated by grey nomads and other travellers using existing spaces.

“There’s a severe shortage for heavy vehicles because they do take more space to get off and get back on the road again,” he said. “It happens more regularly than you might think … they drive along and notice a site is full and have to keep driving.”

He said it was widely accepted that a driver should not travel for more than two hours without stopping but, to counter the congestion problem, rest areas should be provided every 1.5 hours.

“You’ve got your regular drivers who know the place and then you’ve got the ones who might only do that run every six to eight weeks, and they’re having to find their way along that route and they’re not exactly sure what’s up ahead,” he told the Daily Mercury. “So it’s hard if they come up to one rest area and it’s full of caravans and they’re not sure what’s up ahead. It can push them outside their boundaries with the law.”

Mr Mahon said rest areas did not have to be ‘fancy’.

“In the case of trucks all we’re looking for is a reasonable area of ‘hard standing’ that they can get in off the road … toilets are helpful and anything beyond that is a bonus,” he said. “Partly, it’s about how rest areas are provided and signed and making it clear about what they’re for.”

A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said it was “committed to providing new and improved rest areas for motorists, including heavy vehicle drivers”.

Since 2010, the program has delivered over 60 new or upgraded rest areas, more than 20 new stopping places as well as 17 upgrades, including livestock specific projects.

  • Which highways do you think could do with more rest areas? Have you ever had to ‘drive on’ because a rest area was full? Comment below.

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10 Responses to ‘For safety’s sake! Please give us more rest areas!’

  1. Pacific Hwy NSW

  2. Western Highway between Melbourne and Adelaide.

  3. Caravanners who park in truck bays overnight are thoughtless morons.
    We have all day to find somewhere to pull up for the night but the truckies have to have rest periods by law. a lot of caravanners think they have the right to park where ever they like.

  4. The Bruce Highway is not alone, not having enough rest areas. The Highways South of Sydney are also in desperate need of more rest areas.

  5. Travelling along the Hume Freeway in Victoria it’s a pleasure as the there’s plenty of stops where domestic and commercial vehicles can pull in and use toilets, picnic tables etc. Pity the other states can’t sometimes come to the party and think THAT ALL drivers need to rest / sleep so they don’t have or cause accident/s and arrive safely at their destination/s.

  6. I seem to recall that Western Australia from Norseman to Albany had few rest areas, particularly ones designated for trucks and with little shade for anyone to pull up and have a cuppa. Also think it was the Bruce Highway where we also noted some bare and small rest areas. We have travelled extensively and quite often found trucks only parking haunted by caravanners – very selfish.

  7. Do you really believe any politician is going to do anything about the Bruce.In this day and age it should be four lanes, two either way and 100 metres apart.They all promise to fix it but nothing happens, of course there should be rest areas every couple of hours. Just look at the traffic on the road now.They bang on about getting people to see the barrier reef well fix the road.Ask the people of Ingham how little rain they need to shut the highway.Like everything else DO something dont just promise it and not deliver.Stevo

  8. We need to improve access to the road side stops. Many times I have wanted to stop but the rest area is on the opposite side of the road. You cannot turn in when travelling at speed with a long line of vehicles behind you. Then you have to pull out across traffic when you continue your journey. Make the stops both sides of the road at the same location.

  9. My exemplar of rest areas is on the Hunter Expressway between Singleton and Newcastle. The road is fantastic and the rest areas (there are two – one each way plus a long heavy vehicle pull-over area) are great. If other states copied this one, we would have fewer road fatalities and, dare I say it, happy campers (insert “caravaners”).

  10. Qld only has to travel over the border into NSW to see what a great job they have done with providing rest stops for trucks and travellers.
    The first time we travelled the Bruce Highway up to Cairns I really was shocked at how 1970’s the tiny ribbon road, with practically No rest stops!
    Successive QLD Governments of both persuasions are responsible for this.

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