All clearways within 20km of the CBD became tow-away zones this week (1 December) in a bid reduce congestion on Melbourne’s busiest roads.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll said the change resulted in 221 new tow-away zones, increasing the total to 326 across 19 metropolitan Council areas, from Whittlesea in the north, Brimbank in the west, Whitehorse in the east and Kingston in the southeast.
“While it is illegal to leave a car in either a clearway or a tow-away zone, vehicles were previously only able to be removed if they were parked in a tow-away zone,” Mr Carroll said.
“The change will reduce congestion on Melbourne’s arterial roads, improving traffic flow and allowing emergency vehicles to reach their destinations faster during busy periods,” he said.
“There will be no change to penalties for parking in tow-away zones, where car owners will continue to receive a $165 fine and a charge of $361 to retrieve their vehicles.”
Mr Carroll said no additional zones would be created as clearway zones would simply become tow-away zones.
“These changes will have no adverse impact on businesses, residents or the community as it has always been illegal to park in a clearway – they will, however, reduce congestion and improve safety for everyone,” the Minister said.
He said the change to clearway management was part of the State’s package of measures to keep people moving on the roads, and recognised that people were more likely to drive rather than catch public transport as COVID-19 restrictions eased.