Truck stop closure queried

TRUCKS travelling up Cunningham’s Gap will soon no longer be able to stop at the layover bays near the top.

Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has decided to move the stopping bays on Cunningham Highway in the World Heritage Listed Main Range National Park due to environmental and safety issues.

Later this year, the bays will be marked for emergency stopping only.

A TMR spokesman said the department had consulted with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Environment and Resources, the RACQ and Queensland Trucking Association. He said they had all supported the project.

However, not everyone is convinced removing the bays is the best solution or use of already tight finance.

Southern Downs Regional Council Deputy Mayor, Peter Blundell, expressed his concerns over the cost and need to close the bays.

He was cynical about the environmental damage done by trucks stopping there.

“Trucks have stopped there for as long as I can remember.

“There seems to be concern over the habits of drivers at the top of the Gap, but I would question what exactly the environmental impact is,” he told the Daily News.

TMR said it would continue to investigate options to improve access at the National Park car park and provide an additional trucking rest stop location west of Cunningham’s Gap.

Cr Blundell said from his point of view, he was concerned about the costs involved in building a new truck stop.

“When you look at the cost of that truck stop at the Glen, it’s my belief it cost over a million dollars to rehabilitate it.

“The Cunningham’s Gap truck stop has been working for goodness knows how many years, and I have to question the money that will need to be spent to relocate it and whether that is a good use of funds.”

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