Wheel clamping banned
RAC Foundation press release – no embargo – Tuesday 17th August 2010
The RAC Foundation has welcomed Government plans finally to take action on clamping on private property.
The Coalition has announced that the clamping of vehicles on private land will be banned in England and Wales from early next year.
Measures to outlaw the practice – already illegal in Scotland – will be introduced as part of the Freedom Bill later in 2010.
Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone said:
“Landowners have a right to protect their property and they can either put up barriers or they can switch to ticketing. There will be an appeals tribunal. There will be powers for the Police to tow away but towing has been banned for clamping companies.”
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“For too long unscrupulous clampers have managed to extort money from essentially law-abiding motorists, punishing them for their so-called crimes. At last that is going to stop and there will be many who will breathe a sigh of relief after years of outrageous behaviour.
“But getting rid of clamping is not the end of disputes about parking on private land. Some operators have seen the writing on the wall and are already turning to issuing penalty tickets rather than using clamps and the law needs to recognise this growing form of enforcement. What we need is a fair system that protects motorists and landowners. How hard can it be?”
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – [email protected] / 020 7747 3486 / 07711 776448
Notes to editors:
The RAC Foundation is a charity which explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and responsible road users. Independent and authoritative research, carried out for the public benefit, is central to the Foundation’s activities.
Currently individuals are allowed to clamp on private land if they are licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). There is no binding code of conduct for operators nor any legal limits on the amount of money they can charge. There is no form of independent appeals process for drivers to access if they have a grievance.
Many private parking companies are turning to the use of tickets instead of clamps. If these operators want to access vehicle keeper details then they can buy them from the DVLA but only if they are members of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA). At the moment the only ATA is the British Parking Association (BPA).
The BPA currently runs a voluntary code of conduct for its members to adhere to, but not all parking companies are part of the BPA.
Clamping on private land in Scotland was essentially outlawed after a court decision in 1992 which concluded clamping was tantamount to extortion and theft.