Major plans have been revealed to help long haul truck drivers stay fit in NSW.
As part of the NSW Heavy Vehicle Rest Stop program, outdoor gyms and fitness stations will be rolled out across rest stops for drivers to use.
In northern NSW at Clybucca, outdoor fitness equipment has already been installed for use by truck drivers which will enable them to stretch and get exercise in after a long period on the road.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the initiative was important because it would help the government address gaps in the rest stop network and ensure facilities meet the needs of drivers.
“The road freight industry is critical to our state’s economy, from big business and farmers to retailers and consumers. We all rely on these drivers to ensure our goods get to us quickly and efficiently,” said Farraway.
“It is important that we provide quality facilities that support heavy vehicle drivers and improve road safety,” he said.
Truck driving is a notoriously sedentary occupation.
More than 200,000 people are employed as truck drivers in Australia and while their role in transporting goods across the country is critical, studies have found that they are among the nation’s most unhealthy workers.
In NSW the freight task was expected to grow by at least 34 per cent by 2061.
According to Farraway, the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is doing everything to support this growth to ensure its supply chain remains efficient.
“We have several projects underway investigating, planning, designing and constructing heavy vehicle rest stop improvements. Industry feedback is guiding this work to ensure it meets the current and future needs of heavy vehicle drivers and the growing freight task,” he said.
“We want to hear from the road freight industry, particularly heavy vehicle drivers on what they need and expect at rest stops across NSW and where additional facilities are needed.”
The State Government is encouraging truck drivers and the freight industry to participate in consultation to improve heavy vehicle rest stops across the state.
The Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association President Wade Lewis welcomed the continued progression of the NSW Heavy Vehicle Rest Stop program, which will provide new and upgraded rest areas for heavy vehicles on key freight routes in NSW.
“Rest areas are a vital component of the heavy vehicle task and support drivers to manage fatigue and comply with driving hours regulation,” he said.
“The NSW Heavy Vehicle Rest Stop program highlights the commitment by the NSW government to engage with industry to develop a practical and capable rest area network,” continued Lewis.
RFNSW welcomed the news that major plans have been revealed to help long haul truck drivers stay fit by rolling out new gyms and fitness stations at rest stops across NSW.
“This is a great initiative however more rest stops are needed in Sydney metro and the greater Sydney region,” RFNSW said in a statement.