No B-Double freight route for Middleton

No Freight thoroughfare: Middleton residents have strongly resisted the routing of B-double Trucks through the centre of town and turned out in force to council.
No Freight thoroughfare: Middleton residents have strongly resisted the routing of B-double Trucks through the centre of town and turned out in force to council.

Middleton residents had a win this week, when a proposal which would have allowed B-Double freight trucks to access the town's Main Street, was voted down unanimously by Council.

A large group of residents turned out to Monday night's council meeting on May 20, packing out the gallery and flowing out into the corridor.

They erupted in loud applause when two motions were carried unanimously. The first stated "that Council do not support" a freight corridor passing through Middleton and the second noted council's advocacy for the development of a freight bypass around Middleton.

Four recommendations on the issue were put before the chamber, one of which was to submit a funding application for Special Local Roads Funding for the upgrade of the Flagstaff Hill Road/Airport Road junction to allow permits to be issued for 26m B-Double vehicles.

The upgrade to the intersection was tabled as part of the Southern and Hills LGA Transport 2020 Plan, which has identified the need for a South Coast Freight Corridor to be established to ensure the more efficient movement of freight within the region.

The need for a freight bypass around Port Elliot and Middleton has been identified as part of this plan and the upgrade to the intersection would be a key step in this. However, residents were not keen on B-Doubles using Middleton as a thoroughfare indefinitely, until such a time that a bypass was funded and constructed.

Following Deputations from Jeff Croser, Secretary of the Middleton Town and Foreshore Association and Paul Shinkfield, President of the Middleton Pioneer Community Hall Association, the chamber debated the issue.

Councillors Michael Scott and Bronwyn Lewis passionately advocated against freight being routed through Middleton. They spoke at length on the issue noting a variety of concerns, many of which were raised by residents directly to council at a community meeting last week. Councillor Lewis was applauded when she said the intersection upgrade "is not an opportunity, but a sell out."