Corner is a monument to Ronald Pemberton an 83 year
old pensioner and owner of his own Stationary business who was so sick
of people parking in front of his garage
...........he decided to shunt them out the way with his own
is illegal criminal damage. Do not try it at home.
In honour of Ronald Pemberton I have created Ronald Pemberton
Corner. Ronald Pemberton Corner is dedicated to
all the selfish people in the world who park in front of garages and
the motorist and consumer lobbying organisations in the world who seek
to exploit loopholes in the law to keep this practice legal and the
fines and consequences as small as possible.
This is not a page about how nasty wasty it is that a big capitalist
bully expected you actually pay in order to park your motor on their
private land because the council expect you to pay to park on the
street and you dont want to pay to use a car park. There are
thousands of motoring lobby groups out their to sooth your ego and kiss
your bottom when you get clamped/towed/fined. This page is for
garage owners. Everyone else can go stuff themselves.
This page is about ...
these are illustrative random street pictures - it is quite possible
the owners of these garages are quite happy having their doors blocked
and these are their own cars and they just put up the NO PARKING 24
HOUR ACCESS signs for fun.
that you can park your car in front of my garage
blocking access when I need to go out and gig but no one can tow it
Not me, not the council, not the police and not the
management company. Signs like this...
...are actually nonsense. The truth is that a car now cannot
be clamped and cannot be
towed - even if someone's malciously parked it in completely the wrong
place. If your garage opens directly onto the street and there is
kerb the council may be able to tow it away if the car is actually on
the street ... but due to extensive lobbying by the motoring lobby and
nice consumer organisations such as Money Saving Expert and other
collectives for terminally tight there is no right to tow on private
land. There isn't even the right to clamp.
Clamping a car
in front of a garage is, of course, in
direct contravention to the logical aim which is access to the car in
the garage but it is, it would seem, the British way of doing
aggression at all times. There used to be the right to clamp and
tow until the Con-Lib Coalition introduced their so called "Freedom
Bill". The Protection of Freedoms Bill is a sort of hodge
podge of a piece of legislation ...the result of a vast public
...to dismantle all
the "bad laws" that Labour enacted. Our particular recommendation
was not included but various bits and pieces of repressive nonsense
were. Civil Liberties are the new buzzword because ...it's
something the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats can agree
Tories love the small state and fewer laws "Libertarianism" and
Liberals love Civil Liberties. Even if combining the two and
shrinking the state sector doesn't actually create that much freedom as
cutting the police has left everyone in fear of crime or
whatever. Contrastingly Labour traditionally like spending money
...even when the country would seem to not have much of it... or
So since a lot of people wanted it and therefore there must be votes in
it and therefore it is a good idea the Freedom Bill will abolish the
right to clamp and and tow for private landowners forever. Or
until the next argument. Ironically the right to tow is a freedom
that has actually been taken away by the freedom bill.
By the way ...if
you're wondering why this article is here and not on a consumer group
website ...it is because when I started
a thread on the Money Saving Expert forums questioning why I dont
the right to try and remove cars in front of my garage by any means
neccessary I was "banned for life"
from the forums on the grounds that since I run a comedy club stating
anything under my own name must be a form of "advertising".
A bit much from a man who was told off by Offcom
for plugging his website so much on GMTV that the viewers wrote in to
moan... I would include a picture of Martin but knowing his
parismonious nature it is likely that he might object on copyright
reasons or something... so here's an entirely unrelated picture of
another famous money saving expert...
... I feel it is
fair to point out that it may be possible to be both thrifty and not
mean and that generally Martin probably does a good job for consumers -
but by definition a money saving site can only work by organising the
majority ("consumers") against the minority (businesses and private
owners...?). This is fine so long as the law is black and
white ... the problems arise because when it comes to parking on
private land the law is as clear as mud and the law is as impotent as a
castrato. Since the internal combustion engine is over 120 years
old I think it is fairly realistic to surmise that this is not an
accident.... A large number of people
have a large financial interest in keeping it that way.
As one might expect of a man who encourages everyone to assiduously
seek out other people's loss leaders... Martin is very proprietorial
about his messageboard and keen to make sure this particular loss
leader loses as little as humanly possible...
is a privilege not a right. This is a privately owned site. Posting
is a privilege, not a right. Any inappropriate posts or any issues that
take up a disproportionate amount of site resources or make it a worse
place to be will be stopped at our discretion - with or without
explanation. No one pays to use this site; when there are issues we pay
to resolve them. And sometimes we need to prioritise spending money on
the site, other issues or better resources.
...almost reads like it should be on a garage door, doesn't it?
Anyway that's why I'm writing on my own site. I wouldn't want to
involved in any issues that take
up a disproportionate amount of site resources. That might cost Martin money.
That said there may be other reasons for Martin throwing me off his
site for "advertising". I'm not the first. Steve Burford of
"Wealthy Student" claims that when he put a direct advertising link on
the forum Martin threatened to ring
and as you can see from this link. Martin has also trod on the
of the lucrative financial service industry who claim he's not
authorised by the FSA. Actually I think he is but its interesting
the site carries a disclaimer "This info does not constitute financial
advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right
for your specific circumstances and remember we focus on rates not
service". It's very important to get proper professional
financial advice. I know this from my old two-companies ago
pension scheme where I put in £2000, the company put in
after 4 years the fund contained £3000. Something neither
of us could have achieved without the help of the FSA. Also one
has to ask the question: if no one could comment of the financial
services industry without being in it, isn't that a positive feedback
loop? Perhaps they fear public scrutiny? To complicate
matters further Martin also trades (like Pear Shaped and Sam Smith's
breweries) as an Unlimited
Company - the main purpose of which is probably to keep him off the
Sunday Times Rich List. One sympathises.
The disadvantage of being an unlimited company is unlimited financial
liability for your losses ... and, of course, due to the fact they dont
have to submit accounts they can be quite difficult to politically
control. It's a lot easier for part of your business to schism
off (sometimes with the money) ... a combination of these factors may
explain why Martin rules his website with an iron rod.
Then again if you really need to delete a thread just because it might
create a miniscule volume of internet traffic to an open mike night
website which his readers (not I) seem intent on searching out then
maybe that is just averice beyond the point of reason. Or perhaps
idea of Money Saving Expert forums is that one should never post on
them under one's own name whoever one is... a policy sure to create a
culture of social responsibility.
want you to keep discussing and building the community, but we also
want to keep this a friendly site. Potentially volatile subjects have
no real place on a MoneySaving forum and often only serve to offend.
Please help us to help you.
No wonder he gave up stand up ...
....I dont think you have to be too bright to realise that there may be
philosophical problems with censoring potentially volatile subjects and
representing the views of ALL consumers. No one can represent the views
of EVERYONE after all. The best anyone can do is represent the
view of a MAJORITY. But what happens when one consumer's rights
and another's come into conflict - who's views do you bow to?
Obviously to prevent offence and make the most money you must bow to
the majority? But what if the majority are actually wrong?
Is it actually possible or desirable to steer a middle way?
Rather than write a complicated essay on these issues I'll
leave it to the British Parking Association
to articulate what I have often pondered. They complained in 2009
Martin's article on how to avoid private parking fines:
“I want also
to raise the more general issue of the need for landowners to protect
or charge for use of their land. Your website as it stands takes the
position that when you get a ticket you should always try and get out
of it whereas it should acknowledge that most people who get tickets
have actually parked unlawfully at the expense of others who have paid
and complied with car park terms and conditions.”
Martin Lewis opined
"I think you may’ve misread
the article? Even in the introduction it states “This step-by-step
guide to fighting unfair private company parking tickets isn’t about
circumventing legitimate rules, but to help when they’ve been applied
unfairly or inappropriately.It then goes on to state in huge
letters, the largest textual graphic in the entire guide,
get an unfair ticket, Don’t pay it.”
of the guide is about how to fight unfair tickets, however that’s
something we believe our users are perfectly capable of self defining."
A statement so dumb it's enough to make one
believe in a
"dictatorship of moral relativism".... After all we would not need a
criminal justice system if every
individual was truly capable of self defining the moral from the
immoral and the social from the anti-social all the time.
really believeable given the title of the article
that this is statement is probably bollocks he has helpfully appended
the small print disclaimer:
"While every effort's been made to
ensure this article's accuracy, it doesn't constitute legal advice
tailored to your individual circumstances. If you act on it, you acknowledge that you
do so at your own risk. We can't assume responsibility and don't
accept liability for any damage or loss which may arise as a result of
your reliance upon it."
while concealed on
that only opens when
you click on it is the further disclaimer:
"Of course, landowners have a right to
charge for and police proper parking. If you've broken those rules, and
you think the ticket isn't exorbitant, I'd urge you to pay up."
Funny that the man who moans about concealed parking regulation signs
are a very bad thing should not make his own views immediately
As a result all Martin's readers
a sensible view of what is fair and unfair and have not lost the word
fair or misunderstood that actually
there are laws about parking on private land ...and have not (as we
can see from his forum) instead
absorbed a message that "if you can
get away with it
then do" ....as we can see from their signatures...
of them are advertising services either or promoting themselves...
...and all of them take a
responsible view towards society and are engaged in worthwile
pursuits. What could be more moral? Where could one find
greater paragons of virtue? One will not comment on the implicit
irony of a website that encourages the fighting of speeding fines via
every available legal appeals procedure and which constantly lobbies
for clemency having a "zero tolerance policy" within its own
from which I am banned for life for less than 15 posts of "advertising".
course one could argue that Money Saving Expert is a money
saving site much needed by those on low incomes but that doesn't mean
that (like many
other similar sites that derive revenue from advising on how to avoid
parking fines) it doesn't promote its own value systems - just
like any political party of a religion.
A site that brands ALL car
clampers as "cowboys"
... is not taking an amoral position. But the
use of the term cowboy
is not inappropriate as trying to stop people
parking in front of your garage when the police and the council wont go
there is not unlike operating in the Wild West. One is left to
form one's own possies, find one's own vigilantes, be one's own sheriff
and do all one's own policing because the police wont go there.
Leaving the likes of Ronald Pemberton taking the law into their own
hands in the worst possible way. Of course one can get a licence
to do one's own basic policing from the Security Industry Authority
...part of the Home Office who are in charge of licensing all the
private security guards, clampers, towers and other privatised police
forces who deal with all the stuff the police cant get round to quickly
but it's a large extra cost to small business ... particularly very
small businesses like Ronald Pemberton's.
So, short of getting a "minder", the likes of
Ronald are left with "asking people nicely" ...and it's different
someone (who by definition
you know to be lacking in social
sensibilities) to move their car when you're a healthy young
man in early middle
when you're a little frail and over 80. And it doesn't help that
people know that there is virtually no legal sanction for blocking
garages either. As Sarah
Regan prosecuting said:
Thankyou Sarah for
highlighting this highly effective route to stop people taking the
living piss out of householders. To quote Nicholas Rowland
who banned Pemberton from driving for 12 months and ordered him to pay
nearly £2,000 in fines, court costs and compensation (he did manage to hit the illegally
parked car's driver ...one's heart bleeds) :
...a sentiment that
would be fine if the law wanted to get its hands dirty with Mr
Pemberton's problem in the first place ... something it assiduously
avoids except to attempt to generate large turnovers from the current
To be fair Ronald had done another bit of shunting (for the same
reason)...so the fines are actually for two offenses. In response
to those who wanted to actually know how
the fine breaks down:
So I do think in the absence
of clearly defined legal rules Money Saving Expert could attempt to
they think is fair or unfair in terms of £?
when I can't get to the gig and the other acts can't
because someone's in front of the garage
so in the end I'm the only one
who doesn't use my own property
and what the code of morality should be instead of gleefully telling
everyone how to avoid responsibility without fully defining it?
Now the council can clamp, the police can clamp, the council can tow
the police can tow but they wont travel onto private land to do it
under any circumstances and you cannot as a property owner do it on
your own. As to those who rent they can definately get stuffed
(unless they're Council tennants). If you think this is an
anomoly then here's an interesting exchange in the Committee stage
between Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell and Theresa May
Gavin Barwell (Croydon Central)
(Con):Further to my
right hon. Friend's answer to the hon. Member for Luton South (Gavin
Shuker), will she confirm that local authorities will continue to have
the power to clamp on the public highway? Will residents in private
developments be able to contract with their local authority to clamp on
private developments? I have been
by a large number of
people in my constituency who have tried ticketing and barriers but
found that they do not work close to the town centre and public
transport hubs. Could local authorities continue to clamp on private
Mrs May: I am grateful to my
hon. Friend for raising that point. Local authorities already have the
ability to take a controlling interest and to run parking on private
land, subject to the agreement and request of the landowner, although
that facility has not been much used. To ensure continued access
to key buildings, existing powers for the police to remove vehicles
that are illegally, dangerously or obstructively parked on roads will
be extended to other land. The registered keeper of a vehicle will also
be made liable, in certain circumstances, for charges incurred as a
result of parking on private land.
There is an intrinsic problem here that most blocks of flats are
Leaseholder. This is often a cheap way to buy. I bought my
flat when it was nearing the end of the lease
and it was cheapest and extended the lease (I can now live there until
am 149). In which case the
Freeholder's permission is probably needed as well as probably that of
possibly all the other
Leaseholders in the block to do anything (a huge effort in technical
Since one of the Freeholders is the Estate Agent who
sold me the garage in the first place and who have a fondness for
parking outside it when they "forget" I need access... the chances of
them employing the police to
fine themselves (let alone tow themselves) is zero. The police
are under no illusions they have no power whatsoever. Although
when I asked them they said they weren't sure quite how the new law
Member of Parliament for Colchester since 1997 sums the problems of
flat leasholders up in a nutshell...
Bob Russell (Colchester) (LD): I
will, however, begin with the wheel-clamping provision, which has been
added to the Bill because-I think-it was here to have things added to
it. I am not here to defend the rogue firms of wheel-clampers. I do not
think that anyone in the Chamber is prepared to speak up for those cowboys,
although I always think that to describe them as that is an
insult to cowboys.
Nevertheless, there are companies and
individuals who have abused the wheel clamp, which used correctly and
in the right way is a tool that helps the law-abiding.
The Minister for Equalities started this debate on 17 August last year.
I have raised the matter on the Floor of the House before and spoken to
her, so I am not saying anything that will come as a surprise. She
announced that the freedom Bill would provide for an outright ban on
clamping on private land, where it is carried out by private companies.
I can just about understand that if the private land is a commercial
property, but I
am not sure about the idea when applied to private land owned by
individual householders. At the moment, the Bill proposes that if
somebody parked in the Minister's drive, he would be restricted in the
action that he could take to deal with the problem.
seems that fudges may have been put in place to get round the problem...
Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) (Con): Looking at the Bill, it is clear
that people will be
able to close their gates and stop somebody removing a car that way.
There is implied
consent to allowing a restriction under clause 54(3)(a), and if the
case is broader than that, the people or the commercial
organisation involved can
(1 Mar 2011 : Column 261)
apply to the council to come and do the clamping for them. I think the
problem that my hon.
Friend is worried about is covered.
quite sure if and how they can actually be made to work and absurdly
because the bill is so specific ...even if the car cannot be trapped
with a clamp it can still be trapped with a fixed barrier. Which
seems slightly absurd.
Bob Russell: I hope that my
hon. Friend is correct in his understanding, but that has to be spelt out in the Bill, because it
is not my understanding. If he is right, no problem; but if I am right,
there is a problem. That is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be
fleshed out and firmly written down, because clause 54(3)(a) refers to
cases where "there is express or
implied consent by the driver of the vehicle to restricting itsmovement by a fixed
Whether the barrier is up or down is irrelevant.
Currently, the local planning authority may well refuse an application
to start erecting barriers in carefully designed new housing areas,with
landscaped grounds and all the rest of it, but if the Bill goes ahead,
they will have to erect barriers to meet the very point that has quite
rightly been made. Those are the unintended consequences. I would argue
that if residents living on a private housing estate with their own
private communal parking areas wish to put a wheel clamp on, why can
they not do so? It
is an extraordinary state of affairs when the coalition Government are
putting forward a Bill with a clause that would give more rights to the
illegal parker than the person who owns the land where the car is
illegally parked. The notion that residents
could run off to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency or whoever
else to get fines paid, and all the rest of it, is fanciful.
Troy (Chief Executive of the British Parking Association)
: The difficulty is that
there is private land and private
land. We need to define what we mean by it, because some of us might be
thinking in terms of supermarket car parks, residential car parks
serving flats, or our front drive. All are private land, and then you
get into areas such as motorway service areas and hospital car parks.
It depends what the private land is being used for, and whether a
barrier is appropriate.
Of course, barriers are appropriate in many situations. I mentioned
earlier the typical multi-storey car park. We would not expect to see
one without barriers, but should you always expect to see barriers on
people’s front drives? Should you always expect to see them in hospital
car parks? It is horses for courses, I think, and landowners should be
given the right to determine how best to control their land. Our
primary concern with the legislation is that it removes from landowners
the ability to make that decision.
The simplest way to describe this is that there are just four ways to
control parking on private land: clamping, removing the vehicle, using
barriers or gates with chains, and ticketing. The Bill proposes that
two of those disappear completely, and that the other two remain. If
that is the case, barriers will have their place, as they do now, but
for situations where barriers do not apply,
Column number: 149
ticketing will be the only alternative. That is why it is really
important that a way is found to regulate ticketing properly. As we
have heard, it is not regulated at the moment and it needs to be.
Featherstone says that landowners can erect barriers to control
parking. She does not seem to realise that landowners includes blocks
of flats, are often owned and run by volunteer directors of small
resident management companies like ours. Barriers are costly and cannot
easily be installed in blocks of flats because:
Restrictions in our lease will not allow them;
2. If the
lease does allow, or the lease is amended to allow (a
complicated and costly process) the cost of installing and maintaining
them will fall on the ordinary leaseholder, which in our case includes
pensioners, the not so well off and those leaseholders who do not use
the parking facilities in any case.
3. Our car
parking control company from Worthing, West Sussex provide
an excellent, virtually cost-free service for leaseholders as their
fees are self-financed from clamping revenue. If clamping is banned,
ordinary residents will have to pay for car parking patrols and
management (again, subject to the terms of the lease);
would be inconvenient and restrictive to residents’ and
visitors as free movement in and out of the estate would cause
significant inconvenience for visitors, trade vehicles and emergency
vehicles as well as those who do not drive at all.
that improving the regulation of the clamping industry is by
far the best way to deal with rogue clampers. The current regulatory
framework is far too lacks and so there is plenty of scope to tighten
It seems to
me the proposed ban is contrary to the Coalition's Big
Society’s objectives, since it removes the freedom of thousands of
small community-level leasehold residents’ associations to manage their
private estates as they see fit.
Of course the legal problem with parking blocking access is that it
into any nice legal box. It is clearly a form of theft. If
I and the people I'm driving dont get to the gig that can cost the acts
and promoter hundreds of pounds each so I always have to park in a
parking bay or on the road if I'm going out which defeats the point of
the garage entirely ...but the commodity being
stolen is not physical ...it is of the the 4th dimension - time.
So it falls
between a series of legislative cracks. If you want your
money or property back the police will be on it like a car
bonnet. If you want your time back I'm afraid all you can do is
call for Doctor Who. And even he parks in front of garages...
Thank you for
your comments regarding ‘Doctor Who’ broadcast on BBC One on 3
September. I understand you feel the Doctor should not park his
Tardis improperly, such as blocking the entrance to garages, as this
sets a poor example. Part of the joy of the Tardis is that the
doctor has only limited control of his vehicle at times and it does
materialise in some inconvenient places. We mean no harm by this and
feel the audience understand that this is fantasy. I do
understand you feel very strongly about this, so I’d like to assure you
that I’ve registered your concerns on our audience log. This is a daily
report of audience feedback that's made available to many BBC staff,
including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel
controllers and other senior managers.
The government (and many motorists) think it is beyond the pale that
any motor veichle should be superficially harmed even accidentally no
matter how much selfish mental retardation has gone into parking it in
the most stupid possible place if
it is parked on private land. And before anyone says "Put a Sign
Up" ...erm IT's A GARAGE?! what kind of numpty doesn't realise that a
garage door is an access path...? These are the same idiots who
pass 5 posters saying "There's a comedy gig in this room" and then ask
"What's going on in here?" in the middle of someone's set. No
volume of information is going to stop them acting like a total twat.
If it's parked on government land
streets) then the government will do anything it likes right up to
crushing a car into a small cube because it hasn't got a tax
disk. Not paying road tax is a crime of fiscal value to the
government of a maximum of £215 ....
...probably less for which they TOTALLY destroy your car. However
you can cause comedians, promoters and businessmen much more money than
that in lost wages and revenue by blocking a garage and the worst they
can do is issue their own PCN
...to the value of probably about £80
of which they probably wont see a penny because they'll have to employ
a private contractor to issue it. The government that crushes
cars at the slightest financial slight will neither give people on
private land the right to lay a finger on blocking vehicles or come and
help us move them. Why is it such an awful idea that ordinary
mortals should be allowed to touch hallowed motor vehicles
...? Who turned the car into this cult object more
important than humans...?
If you want to issue a PCN that costs more than £80 and set in
train a war of passive aggression through the courts that will cost
potentially thousands you can. But if you want to break a window
that costs less than £80 to release the hand break and push it
the way that is beyond the pale ... after all a vast army of financial
parasites couldn't cash in if justice was as simple and practical.
For all the whinging of the pro bad motoring lobby Britain actually has
some of the laxest parking laws in the world. In the US and
Australia illegal parkers on public or private land are assiduously
towed... and in Russia they take a highly no nonsense approach ...
...only matched in
ferocity by Arturas Zuokas the Mayor of Vilnius in
Lithuania who here re-enacts a classic Kenny Everett sketch ...
...only for real. Look how few illegally parked cars there are.
Criminal Damage laws have been on the statute books since the
Industrial Revolution when it moved from a Common Law offense (legal
twaddle for Judges making it up as they go along without writing
anything down) into more formal statutes to deal with the dislike of
some machinery created by the Industrial Revolution
As the damage done to machines and industry in time and labour to
repair and financial output lost was greater than could be caused by
damaging most inanimate objects the government introduced things like
Frame-Breaking Act of 1812 which made being nasty to machines
punishable by death which caused Lord Byron to remark dryly that
Due to reforming the criminal damage laws being far too simple and
sensible, the wheel clamp and towing were invented. The problem
with PCN's ....
....is getting people to actually pay them (if you're not the Council)
whereas the wheel
clamp forces the car user to pay up in order to get released.
Although it doesn't in the short term solve the problem of the physical
presence of the car. Towing does solve the problem of the
presence of the car but is more expensive because it must be done by a
licenced operator in a way that avoids criminal damage.
Eventually in order to prevent
scratches that probably cost less than impounding the cars ever could
.... cars have
to be impounded by professional towers and these towers have to be
A Vehicle Immobilisers licence is required if the
operative undertakes any of the following activity: ·
* the moving of a vehicle by any means;
* the restriction of the movement of a vehicle by
any means (including the immobilisation of a vehicle by attaching a
device to it);
* the release of a vehicle which has been so moved
or restricted, where release is effected by returning the vehicle to
the control of the person who was otherwise entitled to remove it, by
removing any restriction on the movement of the vehicle by removing the
device or by any other means; or
* the demanding or collection of a charge as a
condition of any such release of or for the removal of the device from
...or used to be until David Cameron decided to abolish it on the
grounds that since disabling and towing cars to keep roads and access
without causing criminal damage to them costs a lot of money ...this
a revenue stream to fund it and as there is no legal framework to set
fines and fees it's near impossible to regulate off the main road....
The problems are exacerbated by the fact that while parking on the
streets is very carefully legislated for and regulated with sliding
scales of fines and punishments ...because successive governments dont
want to legislate for private land because then they'd probably have to
police it too which would cost the taxpayer money the law is
unbelievably vague and muddled somewhere between contract law and
trespass and no fixed fee structure exists so operating companies punt
for what they think the punters pay.
If they dont pay the whole
thing has to go to court and if they still dont pay debt collectors
...spawning an entire mini industry in advising people how to avoid
paying private parking tickets by the use of that great British weapon passive aggression.
People tend to prefer to contract out to a contractor too because the
trouble with trying to tow and clamp people who block you in yourself
is ... they know where you live.
The actual form of trespass offence is, I believe, the common law tort of
damage distress feasant ...under which private land owners can seek
damages for "the injury which animals belonging to one person do upon
the land of another, by feeding there, treading down his grass, corn,
or other production of the earth".
So yes literally a law to deal with "cowboy" offences. With
appropriate signage breach of contract legislation can also be
used. Consult a legal professional. You probably wont get
legal aid because you own things.
Shannon MP tells a typical story
Jim Shannon: Perhaps I have
cornered the market in those who have problems with clampers, but I
have heard plenty of concerns expressed. I have had complaints nearly
every other week. It got to the stage where I was on first name terms
with the people in the companies concerned, although I am not sure
whether that was good for them or me. In my area, a firm of
clampers was brought in by residents, but the clampers began to clamp
visitors to those residents along with everyone else, and it was
realised that there was no regulation of clamping and that the clampers
were a law unto themselves....
Of course it
couldn't be that the visitors to residents were actually parked
irresponsibly in front of other people's garages or in other people's
spaces or were actually the problem because they are too tight to park
on the road...?
...We have all heard horror stories about clamping firms. I won a case
in which a lady was clamped who had a disabled child and needed her
vehicle for transportation and so paid the fine. Unbelievably, the
clampers informed her after payment that the guys who unclamped
vehicles were headed home for the weekend and she would have to wait
until Monday. After a number of phone calls, I got them to come back
and do the right thing by letting her drive away. It is abhorrent that
such daylight robbery, though morally defunct, was legally acceptable.
The Home Office estimates that 500,000 drivers every year are clamped
on private land. The week before last, I read in a newspaper that a
lady who worked in a taxi firm had come outside to find her car had
been clamped. She contacted her firm, and the taxi drivers, like a
wagon train, surrounded the clamping car until the impasse was sorted
While it may be true that 500,000 drives a year are clamped on private
land I have to say that I'd been driving 6 years and never clamped or
towed - where am I going wrong? Disabled people can be
It may be wrong that the clampers would not release the disabled
but that doesn't mean he didn't deserve to be clamped - he could have
been blocking access or anything? Just because you complain about
something doesn't make you right. As I think this article proves?
Of course the problem with clamping and towing
traffic wardens is that they then have to justify their wages by
people and issuing the appropriate number of fines and become
performance related. This means that in some cases where private
individuals pay clamping and towing companies they then find that they
clamp even legitimate parkers in order to try and keep raising the
revenue that has now disappeared because the fear of clamping and
towing and PCNs means everybody now parks responsibly.
One of the favourite techniques of the Pro-Shit-Parking lobby
is to equate the number of complaints with the "reasonableness" of the
contractors. As if just because everyone complains about paying a
parking fine they must be completely innocent...
Bill Butler(Chief Executive of the Security
Industry Authority): I
speculate, but I can tell you that in the research period, 11% of the correspondence that we
received at the SIA relating to complaints came in respect of vehicle
immobilisers. There are a total of
350,000 licensed individuals, so it is a
very significant percentage. Most of those complaints were about the
policies of companies, not about the behaviour of the licensed
Q 436 Clive Efford: Out of nearly 1,800
immobilisers, only 28 have had their licences revoked.
Bill Butler: Twenty-nine
have had them revoked, and 322 people who applied never got a
Clive Efford: Given the
volume of complaints about activities in this industry, is that
Bill Butler: The complaints
tend to be about signage, levels of charges and the policy of the
companies operating, not about the behaviour of the individuals who are
licensed. Whenever there is a complaint about the individual, it is
investigated to determine whether they have broken their individual
licence conditions. It is not a control on the company; it is a control
on the individual.
...in other words the vast majority of people were guilty of dumb or
stupid parking what they're complaining about is the fines and the
level of the fine which, of course, can be debated for all eternity
because the government would rather have its legs sawn off than state a
clear fine structure. There are, of course, more people with
motor cars than people with garages so why not stuff the people with
Of course if went shoplifting an appropriately licenced individual who
is not the police is able to use reasonable force to try and restrain
your actions and if you get hurt tough. However, as we have seen
cars are important machines and they, unlike people, must never be
harmed. The result is that private property does not exist to
motor cars. It is just a chimera. An illusion that estate
agents, politicians and authorities perpetuate because they are too
scared to take on the car and shit parking lobby. If you started
a petition to bring
back hanging thousands of people would sign it... but suggest
stronger penalties for an anti-social activity the middle class
majority engage in like parking