The results of NatRoad’s Canberra Rest Area Survey 2019 are in.  It’s no surprise that surveyed participants said there are no suitable heavy rest areas in the Australian Capital Territory and there is a desperate need for these essential facilities.

Conducted in July and August this year, the survey found:

  • Three quarters of survey participants use the roadside in industrial precincts to take their significant rest breaks at least some of the time, and a quarter use some other road side area (including residential areas) for that purpose.
  • The most favoured area for a major rest area is on, or near, the Monaro Highway around an industrial area such as Hume or Fyshwick.  Significant support also exists for locations elsewhere, including along the Barton Highway.  Several respondents indicated that anywhere would be acceptable.
  • The most desired facilities requested by 50% or more of participants at any new heavy vehicle rest area are:
    • Parking away from traffic, vehicle light, & light vehicle parking;
    • Fresh drinking water;
    • Rubbish bins;
    • Toilets;
    • Showers; and
    • Shade.
  • A large majority of participants preferred any food vendors at a heavy vehicle rest area be healthy food options from independent cafes/take away, or food vans, rather than a major food chain.  Nearly 60% also sought a convenience store.  A large minority desired a restaurant.
  • As for other facilities, just over three quarters wanted a coupling/decoupling area and a majority favoured a truck wash.  There was also notable support for a weighbridge.

The survey followed a request from Transport Canberra & City Services (TCCS) for NatRoad’s input into completing actions identified in the ACT Government’s Building An Integrated Transport Network – Freight, being a needs assessment of coupling/decoupling along with overnight rest areas for heavy vehicles.  The Rest Area Survey results will be considered in planning currently underway for upgrades to the Monaro Highway and Pialligo Avenue.  NatRoad welcomed the TCCS approach as a positive step to getting more and better heavy vehicle rest areas built.