In what must be one of the best pieces of news for urban van drivers in some time, it appears that at long last, wheel clamping on private land is to be outlawed.
For many years delivery drivers, tradesman and removal van drivers to name but a few, have been plagued by the actions of unofficial clamping firms blatantly abusing their powers to harass motorists. Fines of up to £400 have been commonly administered on hapless motorists unaware that they were contravening parking restrictions, as signs informing the public that clamping was carried out in the area were not easily seen.
In one high profile case a couple of months ago, a lady in Kent was actually blocked in her car by clampers eager to tow her vehicle away and impose a penalty. She had in fact only been turning her car round on a piece of what she thought was spare land and had never left the vehicle.
Vans and cars have also been damaged by clampers towing vehicles away. This had led to court cases and frustrated van drivers having to make claims on their commercial vehicle insurance.
Case studies like this should now be a thing of the past as Lynn Featherstone, a Home Office minister, is understood to be preparing a statement in which she will announce that the laws in England in Wales on wheel clamping on private land will be rewritten to mirror those in Scotland. Wheel clamping on private land was banned in Scotland a short time ago.
Landowners will now have to rethink their policy on how to protect their private property, but fencing the land off is always an alternative and few would object if landowners turned spare land into official car parks that were charged and administered fairly.
The aptly named ‘cowboy’ clamping firms who will now be outlawed, are going to be out of pocket to the tune of £1 billion according to some experts. It is doubtful they will be missed by anyone.