NOT HAPPY: Ian and the offending sign.
NOT HAPPY: Ian and the offending sign. CONTRIBUTED

Long-term parking shortage sparks servo stoush

IAN Wolstenhome got the shock of his life when his first fine for parking at a roadhouse arrived in the post.

The Whittlesea City Council in Victoria had stung him $81 for allegedly exceeding the eight-hour parking limit imposed on truckies by the BP service station on Cooper St, Epping.

The veteran driver with Total Diesel Services said he regularly spent between $2500-$3000 per week at the servo topping up his Western Star.

But since the infringement notice came through he's taken his business elsewhere.

"It's breaking into my fatigue time; how would they feel if we drove off site and drove over a car?” argued a fuming Ian, who plans on fighting the ticket in court.

With so many other parking restrictions in place in suburban areas for truckies, Ian said the servo's stance was disappointing.

"Eight hours doesn't leave you with enough time to get your required rest, have a shower and a feed and get off the premises.”

BP site manager Mal Dasanayake empathises with truckies and their shortage of long-term parking in urban areas, but believes the eight-hour rule is the only fair way to stop abuse of the system by some local drivers who are parking up at the weekend and not returning until Monday.

He said the eight-hour limit had been in place for a number of years but enforcement had been sporadic until now.

"Eight hours gives a fair opportunity to every truck driver,” Mal said.

"But it's hard, it's one thing after the other.

"When I try to balance one side, then the other side is going to be stuffed.”

He said the fines from over-stayers in the 20-30 truck parking bays weren't going to BP, they went to the council.

Big Rigs contacted the council for comment and was told by a media spokesperson via email that the BP set the restrictions and the council's Local Laws team had an arrangement to enforce them.

We're still waiting for a response to our follow-up about what other parking restrictions are in place for truckies in the City of Whittlesea.

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