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Law to beat illegal clampers

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

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Cowboy wheel clampers will be outlawed from clamping vehicles on private land as new legislation comes into place.

The Protection of Freedoms Act makes it a criminal offence to clamp on private land in England and Wales, but not Northern Ireland. Clamping and towing away on private land has been banned in Scotland since 1992.

Other changes to vehicle laws include extending police powers to remove vehicles parked on private land to ensure landowners have a means to keep their land clear from obstructive or dangerously parked cars.

The Department for Transport is also strengthening laws around ticketing so that unpaid charges can be claimed from the keeper of the vehicle, as well as the driver.

The Government has agreed on an independent appeals service funded by the British Parking Association (BPA) that will allow motorists to appeal against a parking charge issued on private land by a company that is a member of the BPA's approved operator scheme.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach, the Home Office Minister responsible for changes to vehicle clamping law, said: "This common-sense ban will give motorists the protection they deserve against rogue wheel clamping and towing companies. It will save motorists £55 million each year in clamping charges and finally penalise the real criminals: the corrupt firms themselves."

Local Transport Minister

BPA chief executive Patrick Troy said the new appeals service, such as it is, will provide a long-overdue layer of protection for motorists.

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