Wheel clamping on private land to be banned
The Government have announced that Wheel clamping on private land will be banned in England and Wales.
The ban will be introduced in the Government’s Freedom Bill in November and will come into force shortly after Royal Assent. Once in place, anyone who clamps a vehicle or tows it away on private land will face tough penalties. The move follows significant controversy over car clamping on private land, including reports of employees being clamped whilst on work property and clamping firms using unclear signage and excessive fees.
Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “The Government is committed to ending the menace of rogue private sector wheel-clampers once and for all. For too long motorists have fallen victim to unscrupulous tactics by many clamping firms. Reports of motorists being marched to cash points or left stranded after their car has been towed are simply unacceptable.”
“A ban on clamping and towing on private land will end this abuse and companies who decide to flout new laws will face severe penalties.”
Regional and Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “The rules governing parking on private land should be proportionate and should not result in motorists being intimidated or forced to pay excessive fines. Cowboy clampers have had ample opportunity to mend their ways but the cases of bullying and extortion persist. That is why we are putting an end to these outrageous practices once and for all to ensure that drivers no longer have to fear intimidation from rogue traders, allowing the parking industry to begin to restore its reputation with the motoring public.”
Currently, any individual undertaking wheel clamping must hold a frontline licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA), with supervisors or directors holding a non-frontline licence. This activity will cease once the ban is in place.
The regulation of the clamping industry has been on the agenda since April 2010 following the Policing, Crime and Security Bill being given royal Assent.
Listen to an interview with Kelvin Reynolds, Director of Operations and Technical Services for the British Parking Association at http://www.workplacelaw.net/audio/index/audio_id/29868