87% back Lib Dem Lynne’s rogue wheel clamping clamp-down

Lib Dem Voice reported earlier this week the news that Lynne Featherstone had secured government support for a new policy to ban wheel clamping and towing away of vehicles on private property, bringing England and Wales in line with Scotland.

YouGov asked the following question directly of members of the public:

The government have announced they intend to ban wheel clamping on private land. Under their plans only
the police and local councils would have the right to use wheel clamps or tow cars away. Would you support or oppose a ban on private wheel clamping firms?

The result? 87% supported the clamping ban, with just 7% in opposition, and the rest undecided.

(Hat-tip: Lynne’s blog.)

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  • John Richardson 22nd Aug '10 - 2:06pm

    I wish they’d asked that 7% who oppose whether they derive any income directly or indirectly from private clamping.

  • Yeah let’s waste police time a resources, just so that the local solicitors have ease of access to their car park, and so that the LibDems can feel as though they are achieving something. Pathetic gesture politics at it worst.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Aug '10 - 2:25pm


    Negativity for the sake of negativity: bad karma.

    This is a positive step against organised bilking of the public – and long overdue.

  • Rabi Martins 22nd Aug '10 - 7:31pm

    I welcome the ban

    Martin – the rogue element wasnt so much in the clamping but the the extortion that accompanied it. The level release fees is what I consider roguish behaviour.

    Lynne should now move to introduce a cap on clamp release fees. They should be no higher than the Parking Fines
    More importantly councils should not be allowed to clamp cars which have overstayed at parking bays . That should be dealt with purely through ticket fines. I was clamped by Westminster ouncil because I overstayed at the metre for just 7 minutes.

  • As a director of a parking enforcement company I totally agree with many comments, and the industry has brought about its own demise, but there are still a number of well managed, well run companies that will go out of business. We employ 15 staff plus, many of these staff were long term unemployed before they worked for us.

    Now before you all say good, there is firstly the wider problem of parking control, if people did not park where they should not, then there would no parking control anywhere, no clamping companies, no parking wardens, no CEO’s but this will never happen.

    We have town centre sites where there are flats next to business premises, with very little parking, how are these businesses going to run? It is impossible on many sites to erect barriers or other methods, parking tickets will not work, as people just do not pay these, there is no solution.

    As a company we have set up independent appeals process with our clients, have a strict towing policy and have followed the BPA line on charges.

    The so called rouge element in this industry will just move on to a new cash cow, and on and on they will always be there, banning a service that is need will not solve any issues or control the cowboys.

    It is very easy, cap all charges, many are already set like towing and storage charges, make all companies register with the police and make it compulsory to belong to a trade association, this type of scheme works and has done for years in the security industry IE, burglar alarms and could even generate revenue for the local authority in inspection fees.

  • Iain Diggle 8th Oct '10 - 3:18pm

    Whilst I understand the requirement for parking control on private land, there are still too many unregulated ‘companies’ in operation, who simply see a quick buck.
    I fell foul of one of these companies yesterday.
    I attended at my gym, where I have been a member for 18months, and parked on the same car park as I always have. This car park is apparently owned by an adjoining premises (which I had absolutely no knowledge of prior to yesterday), but has always been utilised by gym patrons and other surrounding businesses.
    Yesterday I attended the gym for the first time in 5 weeks following injury. I parked as usual, and then noticed a new notice in front of me on a telegraph pole.
    The notice advised that the car park was for ‘Permit Holders Only’ and the usual ‘your car will be clamped / towed if you fail to adhere’ and the release fees etc etc.
    As I had not been to the gym for 5 weeks, I was unsure who required a permit so I entered the gym to speak with the manager, to ascertain whether I required a permit, and if so how to obtain one.
    I signed in at 11.40, and no more than 4 minutes later, I observed a male beginning to clamp my vehicle.
    I went out to him, to remonstrate peacefully and to explain my circumstances, but he stated that it was too late, the clamp was going on and there was nothing I could do about it. I was one of 3 victims at that time.
    I was advised that I had to pay £125 release fee there and then, and if I failed to do so within 2hrs, my vehicle would be towed away at a further charge of £250 plus £35 everyday it was in their compound.
    Firstly, why is the charge ‘on the spot’ when you have 28 days to pay / contest parking tickets issued by local authorities or the police?
    A female who had also been clamped, was a member of staff at the premises that own the car park (who have contracted the clampers) but she simply did not have her permit.
    This was clarified by the clamper with her manangement at the scene, but she was still forced to pay the £125 release fee by direct debit, and told by the clamper that she would be reimbursed later that day?!?!
    This is a classic case of the clamper working on a commission basis, and forcing the ladies arm in order for him not to lose out on the commission….scandalous.
    There are no signs at the car park stating who owns the land, nor is it stated upon the clampers signs, who they are acting on behalf of / times to and from that the notice is enforced, or the boundaries that it covers.
    Part of the car park is actually owned by a company called Whittaker & Biggs, yet the signs stipulate the whole car park.
    There seems to be nowhere to turn for advice for drivers who are caught out, who may have a valid reason for ‘illegal parking’ , other than registering an appeal with an unregulated company, who are hell bent on making as much money as they can.
    Every clamping company should be regulated through the BPA, and controlled by their codes of practice, to protect motorists.
    Unregulated companies are indeed responsible for the tarnished name and image that reputable vehicle immobilisation companies have, and until they are ALL regulated, this practice will continue at the detriment of honest motorists who make a mistake.
    In hindsight, I maybe should have cut the clamp off, been arrested for criminal damage and had my day in court, as I did not consent to the clamping of my vehicle, and was merely seeking clarification from the gym manager about the notice, which I did not understand and permit requirement.

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