Climbdown over clamping appeals 28 Jan 2010

Government backs down over clamping appeals

After a concerted campaign by the RAC Foundation, the Government has finally agreed to introduce legislation which will give motorists clamped on private land access to an independent appeals service.

The appeals tribunal will also have the power to award compensation to drivers who have had their cars immobilised by unscrupulous operators.

The announcement came just after an all-party group of MPs took evidence from the RAC Foundation on the the need for an appeals process, similar to the one which already exists for drivers who are ticketed or clamped on the public highway.

The Home Office says the new measures are being proposed in an amendment to the Crime and Security Bill currently going through Parliament.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

"Finally ministers are acting, and the licence to print money which many cowboy clampers believe they have seems about to be revoked.

"No longer will those drivers who are unfairly penalized have to fall on the mercy of unscrupulous clampers. An independent appeals system is fundamental to reform of this essentially unregulated business, and something we have been demanding for years.

"It seems to be no coincidence that the move comes just a few hours after the RAC Foundation gave its evidence on an appeals service to MPs.

"Wheel clamping has been described in Parliament as something akin to ‘legalised extortion’. Now the excesses of rogue operators are about to be stamped out once and for all.

"But it is also crucial the new measures extend to those operators who are increasingly ticketing on private land. There must be no loopholes which allow motorists to be fleeced.”

ENDS

Contact:

Philip Gomm - Head of external Communications - philip.gomm@racfoundation.org / 020 7747 3486 / 07711 776448

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is an independent charity dedicated to researching issues relating to roads under four broad headings; mobility, safety, environmental and economic.

The RAC Foundation submitted written evidence to an all-party committee of MPs which was scrutinising the Crime and Security Bill.

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