26 September 2023

Pre-pandemic traffic makes U-turn

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The Department of Transport says traffic on Perth roads has returned to around 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

As a result, clearway rules in the central business district (CBD) are back in force.

According to the Department, this means the moratorium on towing fees that was in place at the height of the COVID-19 restrictions due to low traffic and fewer bus services, has been lifted.

At the same time, people who had to pay for their illegally parked vehicles to be towed from 24 March in the CBD will have those costs reimbursed due to confusion over enforcement rules.

Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti said that on 23 March the City of Perth introduced free on-street parking in the CBD due to lower traffic volumes in the city brought on by COVID-19 restrictions in the movement of people.

“This created a lot of confusion among some drivers who wrongly assumed this free parking extended to clearways,” Ms Saffioti said.

“Since that time, there has been a 200 per cent increase in the number of complaints to Main Roads from people who had their vehicles towed.”

She said that in recognition of the exceptional circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the financial and emotional stress many people are facing, in addition to the fact that traffic volumes have been down on normal volumes, the decision has been made to refund towing expenses for people over that five-week period.

“Tow away enforcement has recommenced as traffic and bus patronage in the city gradually increases again,” Ms Saffioti said.

“Tow away zones are necessary to keep traffic flowing efficiently in the CBD. They are clearly signed and drivers need to be aware,” she said.

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