The golden sound of silence

SEVEN years ago when Newborough’s Kevin Newey moved into his Old Sale Road cottage, he thought he had found the perfect home.

But just a few months later, he was questioning “what the hell” he was doing.

Speaking to The Express on Friday, Mr Newey said he was regularly awoken by traffic noise from “trucks rattling down the road” at 2am, resulting in many sleepless nights.

And he said it wasn’t just at night.

Hot summer evenings were spent with the doors and windows closed and the air-conditioner blasting in an effort to block out the noise from “speeding” southbound traffic not slowing down from the road’s 80-kilometre speed zone to its 60 kmh zone.

Also contributing to the noise, he said, were B-double trucks using the road as a bypass from the Thompson Road truck route.

Mr Newey said he had witnessed “neighbours move out from the traffic and resulting noise” over the years and had also noticed an increase in the number of window shutters and high fences in the area in a bid for “some peace and quiet”.

A few months ago Mr Newey decided he had to “do something about it or I’d have to leave” so he doorknocked his neighbourhood to see if anyone else felt the same way.

It resulted in a petition with 52 signatures calling for Latrobe City Council to take action on the stretch of Old Sale Road between Southwell Avenue and Northern Avenue.

The petition asked council to “act now and to consider the resealing of the road to reduce road noise; widening of the road to safely accommodate the bike lane, the enforcement of trucks to use the preferred truck route (Thompsons Road) instead of using Old Sale Road; the lowering of the speed limit from 60 kmh to 50 kmh; and the revision of speed limits approaching and exiting the Haigh Street roundabout on Old Sale Road in both directions to reduce the occurrence of speeding traffic”.

“We just want a better standard of living,” Mr Newey said.

At last Monday’s council meeting, Mr Newey and the petitioners’ concerns were finally addressed.

The road in question is due to be resealed before Christmas and Latrobe City will apply to VicRoads to reduce the speed limit from 80 kmh to 60 kmh between Northern Avenue and south of Montane Boulevard.

Council will also request VicRoads’ enforcement of the illegal B-double truck movements.

Mr Newey said he was glad to see some action finally taken.

“We are just looking for a bit of peace and quiet. We won’t get 100 per cent (peace and quiet) but anything is better than nothing,” he said.

VicRoads planning manager Pas Monacella said VicRoads was yet to receive any formal notification regarding the safer speed proposal, but the road authority “will be happy to support council with technical assistance in its investigation of the proposed speed change”.

Mr Monacella confirmed B-double trucks were not approved to use the Old Sale Road route.