Highway tavern left shocked as truck driver’s access cut off
A MOVE from Transport and Main Roads has a highway business owner shocked, with the decision limiting some of their primary customers from accessing their business.
After an evaluation from Transport and Main Roads Queensland, the Raglan Tavern was made to close its southern driveway access - the only access available to wide load trucks.
A TMR spokesperson said the access was closed as it was not approved and did not meet current safety requirements.
"Closing the access was not something we wanted to do, but we had no choice, as we are responsible for ensuring access to state-controlled roads from privately owned properties and businesses is as safe as possible," the spokesperson said.
"Before the access was closed, we had several lengthy discussions with the business owners and Gladstone Regional Council."
The spokesperson said the department's concern was the poor visibility for the right-turn exit onto the Bruce Highway from the unapproved access on the southern side of the Raglan Tavern due to a crest on the highway, which meant there was not a clear line of sight when exiting the tavern travelling south.
"In June 2018 we advised tavern representatives the southern access was not formally approved, and provided information about the process to lodge an access application," the spokesperson said.
"In 2019 we advised tavern representatives the unlawful southern access would be closed as part of planned works on the Bruce Highway near the tavern."
Business owner Danielle Perkins said since meetings began with TMR in June some progress had been made, allowing motorist to access the driveway from the left hand side travelling north.
She said negotiations were ongoing with Gladstone Regional Council which owns the land between the highway and the business.
The focus now is regaining access turning right out of the business from the southern driveway.
Ms Perkins explained the access, which has existed for more than 40 years, was needed for the trucks as they are unable to manoeuvre out of any of the other access points due to size.
"We're providing a service to an essential service industry," Ms Perkins said.
"There's no where else around this area, once you hit Rockhampton you've got to get through to the north side for the next wide load parking area."
She said the facility provided showers, accommodation and hot meals to its customers.
It's the reason the business has launched a petition to keep the access open, to show TMR the business was an essential service for the trucking industry.
As of Wednesday afternoon the petition had 1300 signatures.
"There's not really anywhere else around there that can take that many vehicles," Ms Perkins said.
A TMR spokesperson confirmed the Raglan Tavern lodged an Access Application which was to be reviewed, however as the tavern does not own the portion of land where the unapproved access is located, the formal Decision Notice will be issued to the land owner.
The spokesperson said some of the conditions may include the access location, the standard any access must be constructed to and the types of vehicles that can use the access.
Mayor Matt Burnett commented on a Facebook Post regarding the closure saying he was not sure why TMR said council approval was required as they had no jurisdiction on the Bruce Highway.
"I have no objection to the southern access remaining open and fully support the owners of the Tavern in keeping that driveway access open," Cr Burnett said.
A Gladstone Regional Council spokesman said "it is a state road controlled by Department of Transport and Main Roads not council."
The Observer understands the block of land between the Bruce Highway and the Raglan Tavern is owned by the council.
The council spokesman declined to answer any questions regarding the block of land including if they would be working with the Raglan Tavern to ensure safe access in and out of the driveway.