Clampdown on the Clampers: New bill spells clamping win

Clampers working in Stephenson House car park, Bletchley

Clampers working in Stephenson House car park, Bletchley

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MILTON Keynes Citizen has struck a huge blow in our campaign against illegal clampers in the city.

With the announcement of the Protection of Freedoms Bill on Friday, February 11, clamping on private land is set to be made illegal across the country.

MP for Milton Keynes North, Mark Lancaster congratulated the paper on the result.

He said: “For too long wheel clampers have been getting away with targeting innocent motorists. My team and I have dealt with countless complaints from people who have unwittingly parked on private land, only to be made to pay extortionate amounts to release their vehicle.

“I am delighted to see that, under the Protection of Freedoms Bill, this practice is set to be outlawed, and I also commend the Citizen’s lengthy campaign for common sense on this issue.”

Back in 2008 this paper started our campaign against clampers after a number of residents complained that they had been clamped on land behind Stephenson House in

Bletchley.

Over the last two years the paper have led the battle against the actions of Excel security, a company based in Birmingham, which was lying in wait for drivers to leave their cars before attaching the clamp.

They would then demand release fees of £150 be paid to them, in cash, before the car could be safely released.

The operation was then taken over by Universal Parking and its company signs went up at the former Co-op loading bay as well as at the rear of Halifax near the ‘Sunlight Soap’ advert, in addition to the original clamping zone Stephenson House car park.

And like its predecessors Excel Security, Universal Parking had the same operatives working the area as well as the same mailbox address in Birmingham – Office 502, 27 Colmore Row, Bimingham – an unmanned site run by Mailbox Etc.

President of the AA, Edmund King welcomed the decision as a major step in ‘transforming clampers from cowboys to outlawed criminals.’

He said: “This Bill is the first nail in the coffin of the cowboy clampers. We have always argued that motorists should not park where they like but believe that in the 21st Century there are more humane ways to regulate parking.

“Partial licensing of clampers hasn’t worked as it was used as a licence to print money so a ban is the only way out of this mess.

“One word of warning is that we are seeing evidence that some of the cowboys, drinking in the last chance saloon, are increasing their clamping activity before the ban is introduced. So watch where you park.”

The Bill is now expected to come into effect later this year.