OTA says revised truck route plan bad for city

HAMILTON, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association is blaming political interference for last minute exclusions from the Truck Route Master Plan Study in Hamilton, Ont.

The OTA is satisfied with the overall proposal, but is less than impressed with the removal of some routes for an 18 month trial period.

OTA says that at the 11th hour, for reasons unknown, a number of key trucks routes including portions of Kenilworth Avenue, Upper Ottawa Street, Concession Street/Mountain Brow Blvd, Centennial Parkway and Dundurn Street were removed. The OTA says the routes feed many thousands of businesses in the Hamilton area.

"The removal of these routes for an 18 month trial, as recommended by the Truck Route Sub-Committee go against the recommendations of the Truck Route Master Plan, city staff and the consultant team and will have detrimental effects on the flow of goods through Hamilton and may negatively impact business in the region," said Geoff Wood, OTA’s Vice President of Operations and Safety.

That plan will now go to the City’s Public Works Committee for approval today, May 31, 2010.

"Removing long established truck routes from the system will not decrease reliance on trucking activity in the Hamilton Area. Rather, it will disperse truck traffic to other areas of the City and add unnecessary out of route kilometric travel," said Wood.

OTA says that the proposed removal of the truck route from Centennial Parkway, specifically, will generate an estimated 1 million kilometres of additional truck travel annually. It is also the only route available for over-height loads into and out of the Hamilton area.

The trucking group says previous recommendations from city staff and its consultant team — which includes the routes — should be implemented without "what appears to be political interference."  

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