Recently, a transport manager received a complaint from an inner city suburban resident about a truck being in her street! The truck was delivering to a supermarket and was legally able to be on the street!
The complainant’s response was “We don’t want trucks in our area!”
That made me remember that some years ago, a school teacher friend of mine was telling me how she spent an entire lesson explaining to her year 8 school students where food came from! Year 8, i.e. teenagers, that didn’t know that pork came from a pig. Sounds comical but it was true.
That same ignorance is now playing out in our metropolitan suburbs, particularly the inner cities. People who hate trucks, but cannot make the connection that those same trucks deliver the food, fuel, beer and wine, even the soy milk for their de-caffeinated, quarter shot, vanilla flavoured latte. And that is not to mention also collect their rubbish!
You sometimes begin to wonder whether these same people, believe that even Ikea’s flat pack furniture is actually grown in a box behind each store in an RSPCA approved, free range, organic certified greenhouse.
As absurd as that sounds, it does mask a deeper issue facing the transport industry. Not only does transport need to deliver to inner city suburbs, it also needs to often travel through that suburb in order to get to other areas.
The problem is that many inner city councils are considering or are placing more restrictions on trucks, whether access times, road access etc. Going further some councils, even here in Perth, are considering banning trucks along highways that run through their suburbs. In other words, saying to those other suburbs or areas that depend on the highway access – stuff you!
This inherent selfishness of inner city suburbs councils is a national problem.
But is it selfishness or ignorance?
I tend to think it is ignorance, people who don’t realise just how dependent their life styles are on trucks. For example, how many of them realise that their Goji berries actually come in to Australia via containers. Containers that are delivered to Fremantle port, picked up by trucks and taken ultimately to a distribution centre for delivery by trucks.
Secondly, how many of them would actually stop and realise that if they banned trucks from the inner city suburbs, that instead of one truck they made need up to, say 25 utes or vans. Oh and by the way, that is 25 times more wages plus costs which they will have to pay at the stores. That is also more congestion, longer noise profile and more pollution!
And we have not even talked about garbage removal. Garbage drivers that get up in the wee hours of the morning, to collect their rubbish during off peak hours to reduce traffic congestion. Do they receive thanks or criticism from these same inner city residents?
So the question is – do inner city residents know where their milk comes from?