Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not before time

Seems the government are going to stop firms clamping cars on private land.

Wheel clampers are to be banned from operating on private land in England and Wales, the government has said.
The legislation, to be introduced in November, will introduce penalties for anyone clamping a vehicle or towing it away on private land.
Minister Lynne Featherstone said motorists had faced "unscrupulous tactics" by some firms for too long.
Motoring groups welcomed the news, but parking firms said regulation rather than a ban was the answer.
In one case on Monday, a nurse was clamped while visiting a patient and told to pay £350 to get her car released, with another £50 charge for every hour she delayed payment.
The planned legislation, announced by the Home Office, will be introduced in the government's Freedom Bill in November.
More than 2,000 existing clamping licences will be revoked as a result, with towing also set to be outlawed, but private firms will still be able to ticket parked cars.
Most of this makes sense, a ticket at least can be challenged whilst having your car immobilised until you pay was a license to print money for some companies.

A nurse's car was clamped for five hours when she used a patient's private parking space in Essex.
Hannah Bannock was in uniform and had displayed an NHS permit when she was clamped in Clacton on Monday, the North East Essex Primary Care Trust said.
Spokesman Peter Richardson said it "beggared belief" that Mrs Bannock was forced to postpone visits.
These stories are unfortunately all to common, indeed people have been charged up to £850 at a time and been frogmarched to cashpoints to pay these licensed thieves. I know parking can be a problem, but there has to be better solutions than immobilising a vehicle in the place where it is actually parked or risking damaging said vehicle if it is towed away.

A man sat in his car for 30 hours to prevent it being towed away after it was clamped.
Haroon Zafaryab began the protest in Wembley on Wednesday when he returned from Ramadan prayers to find his car clamped and was asked to pay £365.
He said that, as he sat in the vehicle, all four wheels were clamped and about 40 tickets were stuck to its window, amounting to £3,565 in fines.
In the end he paid £100 to be released, the tickets were a scare tactic, yet some people would have been desperate enough to pay the initial fine, even the £3,565 if the bullying had succeeded, such is the tactics used by rogue clampers.
Sooner this freedom bill is passed the better, though it wont go nearly far enough, it's still a good start if it prevents this kind of thing.

4 annotations:

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Extortion is illegal in Scots Law.
Glad to see England and Wales catching up again:¬)

Anonymous said...

Another blow for private property rights!

Anonymous said...

Government is, mate, government is.

Quiet_Man said...

And what about the property rights of those whose property is being confiscated by the clampers anonymous?

I'm all for a system to deter illegal parking, just not one that involves theft with menaces.