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North-west rail link warned over oversize trucks

Date

Jacob Saulwick

Officials and companies working on the $8.3 billion north-west rail link project have been warned they could face prosecution if they continue to flout the road rules.

For the second time in a week, trucks carrying machinery to be used on the rail line, the state’s biggest public transport project, have been found to be not complying with safety regulations.

NSW Police said on Monday night they had intercepted a truck towing a platform for a tunnel boring machine, finding it to be oversize, overmass, and the driver in breach of his work diary.

The machinery is to be used to dig the north-west rail link tunnels, the signature public transport project of the state government.

Last week a similar incident occurred with a truck carrying equipment to be used on the same project.

Roads and Maritime officials warned they could pursue the matter with people and organisations above the level of the driver.

"The onus is on the operator as well as the driver and all other parties in the chain to ensure vehicles are loaded safely,” Roads and Maritime general manager compliance operations Paul Endycott said in response to the latest truck being pulled over.

“Those who fail to do so will be targeted and may face significant penalties under Chain of Responsibility laws."

The truck was intercepted at about 12;30am on Tuesday as part of a join operation between NSW Police and RMS.

The driver was directed back to his depot, and his vehicle was grounded.

"These loads operate on roadways with other vehicles which is why the Joint Heavy Vehicle Taskforce is doing everything to ensure safety on our roads,” Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s acting assistant commissioner Stuart Smith said.

"Those operators that obtain permits to move oversize or overmass loads must ensure that they comply fully with all of the conditions."

Fairfax Media contacted both Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Transport for NSW about the multiple breaches.

“Transport for NSW expects its contractors to fully comply with all road rules and regulations when transporting heavy machinery,” a spokeswoman said.

“Transport for NSW has been advised by Thiess John Holland Dragados that an alternative transport provider will be sourced as soon as possible.”

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