Reduction in smoky trucks using the M5 East tunnel

22 May 2013

Reduction in smoky trucks using the M5 East tunnel

The NSW Government is making headway in reducing the level of pollution in the M5 East tunnel.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay said since enhanced enforcement of smoky vehicles using the tunnel was introduced, there has been a reduction in the number of polluting trucks driving through the tunnel.

In March this year the Government announced the Smoky Vehicle Enforcement Project, a new enforcement regime under the M5 East Air Quality Improvement Program.

The fines were increased to $2,000 for the first three breaches with a vehicle’s registration cancelled for three months on the third offence.

From December last year to March this year, 187 vehicles were sent warning letters for excessive emissions, while from March to the end of April this year, 32 vehicles were fined for emitting excessive smoke.

“This is a substantial drop in the number of truck drivers being caught,” Mr Gay said.

“The drop in the number of trucks using the tunnel has had an effect on pollution, with early indications suggesting there has been a 20 per cent improvement in haze and visibility in recent months, which is great news for motorists who use the tunnel.

“While it is early days, I am encouraged that many heavy vehicle operators appear to have made a conscious decision to get their smoky vehicles off the road.”

Mr Gay said there were concerns that trucks might be avoiding the tunnel and using surface roads, but monitoring of Stony Creek Road which is the alternate route shows no increase in trucks using the road.

“This would suggest that education, enforcement and awareness of the penalties are having an effect.

“But that will not deter us from chasing down those trucks that still spew out excessive emissions.

Operation Steel 4 will soon start targeting smoky vehicles operating in and around Port Botany, so if trucks are emitting excessive pollution they will be caught.

Media: Lance Northey 0467 743 192

View the media release
Reduction in smoky trucks using the M5 East tunnel (PDF)

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