Challenge rogue wheel clampers with independent tribunals!
Rejoice drivers! The Mirror is reporting that, at last, there is hope for motorists who get their car clamped by rogue firms.
Apparently, you can now take your case to an independent tribunal which will have powers to act if you're clamped on private land. These tribunals will cover England and Wales and Northern Ireland and are being established under an amendment to the Crime and Security Bill, currently going through Parliament.
Basically, you'll be able to threaten these mercenaries and challenge their clamping fee for things like their failure to comply with a code of practice setting out how much time must pass before a car can be immobilised.
Clampers will now have to make sure that any signs warning you of a potential clamping meet minimum standards of visibility. Hopefully, this means you'll actually be able to see them and they won't try pulling (yet another) fast one on motorists.
There will also be a ceiling on the release fee. Unfortunately, it's looking like it'll be above the £70 maximum charged by local authorities. That said, anyone who tries stinging you for more will have to pay the excess. If you can convince a tribunal that your car has been unfairly clamped, then you'll be able to claim compensation for the costs incurred - including things like your hiring of a hire car while you argued it out with clamping pricks.
Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: "The government is committed to preventing abuses by unscrupulous wheel clamping firms and their employees. The introduction of an independent appeals process will for the first time provide independent recourse for motorists who feel aggrieved by unfair practices of rogue clamping businesses."