Keeping clearways clear

All clearways within 20km of the CBD will tomorrow become tow-away zones as the Victorian Government works to reduce congestion on Melbourne’s busiest roads.

The change will result 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.

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.

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. There will be no additional zones created, clearway zones will simply become tow-away zones.

The change to clearway management is part of the Victorian Government’s $340 million package of measures to keep people moving on the roads, which recognises people are more likely to drive rather than catch public transport as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Traffic volumes on Melbourne’s roads have recovered in recent weeks as eased restrictions allow greater movement, while public transport patronage continues to remain low as most people continue to work from home.

The council areas with the greatest number of tow-away zones from tomorrow include Boroondara with 37, Darebin (36), Yarra (35), Maribyrnong (26), Banyule (25) and Stonnington (23).

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