- Traffic back up to around 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels
- Clearway towing rules were temporarily suspended from late March due to pandemic
- Towing rules now need to be reintroduced to help traffic flow and public transport efficiency
- Any drivers towed due to confusion since late April to have costs reimbursed
Traffic on Perth roads has returned to around 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, following reductions of more than 50 per cent last month.
As more people start getting back to work, the CBD requires its clearway rules to be strictly followed again after a suspension of normal rules since late March.
This means that 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 - will be lifted from Monday, May 11.
At the same time, people who had to pay for their illegally parked vehicles to be towed from March 24 in the CBD will have those costs reimbursed due to confusion over enforcement rules.
Main Roads is responsible for towing illegally parked vehicles in the city precinct as part of its Active Traffic Management initiative introduced in 2014.
On average, 90 illegally parked vehicles are towed each week. The drivers attract the cost of the towing service and a fine from the City of Perth. About 500 drivers will have vehicle towing expenses, totalling around $200,000, reimbursed.
Clearway Zones are in operation Monday to Friday between 6am-9am and 4pm-6.30pm. Motorists are reminded to make sure they are aware of parking requirements and always check street signage when stopping or parking to avoid a fine and a tow.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"On March 23, 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.
"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.
"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 were down on normal volumes, the Government has decided to refund towing expenses for those people over that five-week period.
"Tow away enforcement will recommence on May 11 as traffic and bus patronage in the city gradually increase again.
"Tow away zones are necessary to keep traffic flowing efficiently in the CBD. They are clearly signed and drivers need to be aware."
Minister's office - 6552 5500