Council puts the brakes on B-double road use

THE decision by Southern Downs Regional Council to deny approval for a B-double use permit has Glenmar Fuels owner Glenn Hentschel baffled.

"We applied for a B-double permit so we could take empty B-doubles to the depot for services and maintenance," Mr Hentschel said.

"We are only talking one empty B-double a week at the most."

Glenmar Fuels is located on the quiet Allora-Clifton connection Rd at Allora, with the distance the application was required for being about 2.15km.

The application was made after talks with the national heavy vehicle regulator who could see no issue with the application.

"Main Roads and the police have signed off on it, but council rejected the application Wednesday afternoon," Mr Hentschel said.

The businessman said he was surprised given the number of other B-doubles and road trains permitted to use local roads and felt the council was being unreasonable.

"The regulator called to say it had been rejected and they were surprised. They said to appeal the decision," Mr Hentschel said.

"I have no problem with the other heavy vehicles in the area. I'm just surprised that our application was rejected and they weren't."

Mr Hentschel called the council to find out the reasoning behind the refusal.

"I spoke to Chris Whittaker at council and he said it was due to concern with wear and tear on the road and the weight on the culverts," Mr Hentschel said.

"We even included a special clause in our application that it would be for empty B-doubles only so it doesn't make sense."

"A loaded B-double places less stress on the culverts than our truck and dog combinations, and it's perfectly legal for them to use this road."

"It's not as if we want to run trucks up and down the road constantly."

Mr Hentschel has submitted diagrams and measurements to the council for consideration in the appeal.

"It's actually more wear and tear on the road now as we have to do double the amount of trips."

Southern Downs Regional Council director of engineering services Peter See said the application was rejected on the basis that a culvert on the route was in poor condition.

The council said staff had spoken with the applicant and advised if he wished to pay for a structural assessment, one could be made. Mr Hentschel said he had not been advised of that.

"Why should I have to pay for an assessment on their culvert?" he asked

Mr Hentschel will continue to appeal the decision and said he hoped for a fair decision.

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