An error by tram staff has led to a family of nine being slapped with a $425 fine after a no parking sign was wrongly covered up in Melbourne’s CBD.
The mistake meant their rental van was towed away, leaving them “extremely distressed”, The Today Show reported.
The family, who are on holiday from Malaysia, left their van on Lonsdale Street on Thursday night, but when returning on Friday morning, they discovered their vehicle was being towed away.
Now you see it.. now you don’t! If you are the owner of this van on Lonsdale st which has just been towed, these pics of council workers creatively redesigning the parking sign might help pic.twitter.com/GhAs4gCGXS— Christine Ahern (@ChristineAhern) December 5, 2019
Unbeknown to the family, the area they’d left the van in was a clearway zone. A sign indicating the conditions had been covered up by a black cloth.
Footage obtained by The Today Show shows a man, initially believed to be a council worker, removing the cloth to reveal the parking restrictions underneath on Friday morning.
However a City of Melbourne spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the sign was wrongly covered by Yarra Trams staff as part of the William Street tram stop upgrades.
“The sign was improperly covered by Traffic Management Staff employed by Yarra Trams associated with the William Street Tram Works,” the spokesperson said.
“The people seen in the vision removing the covering from the parking sign were not City of Melbourne employees.”
The family were forced to pay $425 to have the vehicle released by the tow company, a fee council say will be reimbursed to the family due to the “confusion”.
“Other tow away clearway signs in the area were not covered, and the tow truck driver followed standard procedure,” the spokesperson added.
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