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Heavy vehicles will be prohibited from Francis Street and Somerville Road in Yarraville, and Buckley Street and Moore Street in Footscray, the Andrews Government announced on Sunday.
The ban will be enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Trucks will instead have to pay a toll to travel to the Port of Melbourne through the new West Gate Tunnel, with the cost of the tolls yet to be announced.
The ban will not include trucks making local deliveries.
The Andrews government has downplayed the impact of the ban on truck drivers, noting it would save "truck drivers time and money by avoiding 17 sets of traffic lights and reducing vehicle wear and tear".
"The freight industry needs an efficient connection to the Port – one that has been specially designed for heavy vehicles – not suburban streets," said Roads Minister Luke Donnellan.
However the Victorian Transport Association said the truck ban would put additional pressure on freight operators "already under financial attack" from CityLink toll increases, higher registration charges and razor-thin operating margins.
The industry group's chief executive, Peter Anderson, said alternative solutions presented to the government had been ignored.
This included exempting vehicles that were quieter and more fuel efficient from curfews, improving the roads on preferred freight routes to make them safer and using technology to enforce restrictions, Mr Anderson said.
"We are also encouraging them to introduce toll reductions and multi-users discounts on existing and future toll roads as an incentive for operators to use toll roads," he said.
"What is the point of having high-tech, efficient toll roads if operators can't afford to use them?"
The Container Transport Alliance Australia said the truck ban in the inner west had resulted from "intense political pressure" from residents.
The alliance's director Neil Chambers said once the project was completed it was crucial that transport operators received a "fair go" in tolling prices.
He said the transport of empty containers was a vital part of freight movement but cost pressures were high "so a high toll price would be unsustainable."
The alliance also called on the government to review the adequacy of inner west arterial and local roads, which it said will receive more heavy traffic when the curfews are introduced.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday that a consortium headlined by John Holland and CPB Contractors had been selected to built the $5.5 billion Western Distributor project.
The project will see twin tunnels dug underneath Yarraville, from the West Gate Freeway around Spotswood to near where Footscray Road crosses the Maribyrnong River.
An elevated road will be constructed along Footscray Road to the city.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy described the Western Distributor as a "dog of a project".
"It'll make the West Gate Freeway more congested and they're building it from the wrong end," he said.
Mr Guy insisted the project should be built from the Western Ring Road to the Tullamarine Freeway "not from the base of the West Gate Bridge".
He said the government had announced the truck ban because it was scared of losing votes in the west.
"I think the government is panicking about losing the seat of Footscray probably to the Greens," he said.
Mr Guy promised he would not rip up contracts for the project but flagged he may try to renegotiate if he was elected in 2018.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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