| Feb 26, 2010

THE VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT announced in 2008 that it would extend clearway times along busy roads across inner Melbourne. The programme has come under fire in recent weeks as the Government rakes in thousands of dollars in fines for towed and illegally-parked cars.

The changes have seen clearway times increased by up to two hours on weekdays, banning roadside parking in some areas from 3pm to 7pm.

In the mornings, the clearways cover 6:30am to 10am - 60 minutes past usual business hours.

The programme has been put in place to help clear congestion during peak traffic times, but local traders have expressed fears that the resultant lack of parking will drive away customers.

There has been confusion in some areas, with Stonnington and Yarra councils acting out against the State Government's orders and covering the new clearway signs.

The two councils say they plan to launch a court action to prove that the Government did not properly consult the cities on its plans.

Yesterday, 21 cars were towed from two main roads, with fines and charges totally more than $9200.

A further 28 motorists received $117 fines from VicRoads for parking illegally in new clearway times across Prahran and Abbotsford.

Wednesday saw 23 vehicles towed and 63 fined, fines and charges adding up to around $15,000.