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  1. #1
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    Wheel Clampers facing ban- England & Wales

    17 August 2010 Last updated at 07:45 GMT

    clampers face private land ban


    The practice was banned in Scotland in 1991
    Wheel clampers are to be banned from operating on private land in England and Wales, the government is expected to confirm later.
    Minister Lynne Featherstone said some firms operated a "sort of entrapment".
    Drivers faced unclear signs, vehicles being towed away and extortionate release fees, she said.
    Under legislation likely to come in next year anyone clamping a vehicle or towing it away on private land will face penalties.
    These could include fines or even jail terms.
    The planned legislation, expected to be announced by the Home Office later, will be introduced in the government's Freedom Bill and could be in place by early next year.
    Continue reading the main story
    For a long time this has been nothing but an unregulated racket operated mainly by unscrupulous cowboys” Nick Freeman Lawyer
    More than 2,000 existing clamping licences will be revoked as a result, with towing away also set to be outlawed.
    Only police or councils will be allowed to immobilise or remove a car in exceptional circumstances, such as a vehicle blocking a road.
    Wheel-clamping on private land has been outlawed in Scotland since 1991, but will remain legal in Northern Ireland.
    Some critics of the plans fear drivers could exploit the move by parking without thought on other people's property.
    But speaking on BBC TV's The One Show on Monday, Ms Featherstone, the Equalities and Criminal Information Minister, said: "This is the right answer, an outright ban.
    "It's come about because of the level of complaints... motorists find they didn't even know they were parking on private land."
    Lawyer Nick Freeman, who specialises in motoring law, said: "For a long time this has been nothing but an unregulated racket operated mainly by unscrupulous cowboys, with some people making a lot of money from the misfortune of others.
    "For motorists who fall foul of this unfair practice, they have no choice but to pay an extortionate release fee and they have no redress other than through the county court, which the vast majority of people don't pursue."
    Motoring groups welcomed the news as long overdue.
    AA president Edmund King said the ban was "a victory for justice and common sense".
    However, Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, warned that getting rid of clamping would not end disputes about parking on private land.
    There needed to be a fair system with a proper regulatory framework - that found the right balance between protecting motorists, who were currently being treated outrageously, and landowners, who also needed their interests protected, he said.
    He said some operators had already turned to issuing penalty tickets rather than using clamps and the law needed to recognise a "growing form of enforcement".
    He said in one case on Monday, a nurse had been 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.
    Kelvin Reynolds, director of technical services for the British Parking Association, told the BBC's Radio 4 programme the trade body would support the wheelcamping ban, but "it may not be as productive as the government would like it to be".
    The driver of a car would not always be the same person as its keeper, he said, and "proper regulation" was key.
    Currently wheel clampers and the directors and supervisors of clamping companies must hold a licence granted by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    A heard a news story on 5 live recently where a restauranteur was advising his customers not to park on a piece of adjacent land because they would be clamped.

    The clamping firm had took him to court for restraint of trade.

    He won and has the right to tell his customers....Fuckin' right too!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcock View Post
    A heard a news story on 5 live recently where a restauranteur was advising his customers not to park on a piece of adjacent land because they would be clamped.

    The clamping firm had took him to court for restraint of trade.

    He won and has the right to tell his customers....Fuckin' right too!!

    ,,, that's outragious . that it ever went to court in the first place. I hope the
    prick had to pay all court costs.
    And if so i wonder how much he paid.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Lick
    Lawyer Nick Freeman, who specialises in motoring law, said: "For a long time this has been nothing but an unregulated racket operated mainly by unscrupulous cowboys, with some people making a lot of money from the misfortune of others.

    It's not often i agree with a lawyer but he pretty much sums it up.

    I found my own car clamped on private land around a decade ago but following a phone call to the company they released it free of charge. They were out of order although it took a firm stand from myself to dissuade them from towing my vehicle away

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcock View Post
    A heard a news story on 5 live recently where a restauranteur was advising his customers not to park on a piece of adjacent land because they would be clamped.

    The clamping firm had took him to court for restraint of trade.

    He won and has the right to tell his customers....Fuckin' right too!!
    Good for him, but could be he lost simply by having to defend himself in the first place.

    The danger is the precedent it might set if the clamper had won. How about being sued by a pub or restaurant or petrol station for going to or recommending the one next door, or by a cowboy builder for telling your neighbour his roof tiles don't actually need replacing?

    Intriguing if he copped a guilty, just to see if a fully grown adult, and a judge too, could actually bring himself to impose any sentence at all. And failing to comply with the judge's directions puts him in contempt and liable to be nicked. Imagine that!

    I think common law should at least be given the chance to kick in rather sharp, to rattle some sense into any court that took itself so seriously.

    Crikey, this could end up thread of the year!


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