Car-clamping watchdog body is 'toothless'

September 14, 2009 | By | In News

Parking body has yet to expel a member, despite receiving hundreds of complaints.

A parking ‘watchdog’ organisation, which is supposed to take action against car clamping companies who act illegally, has failed to expel a single rogue, despite receiving hundreds of complaints.

The Daily Mail reports today that the British Parking Association, a voluntary body with 650 members, has failed to sack a single member, despite a torrent of protests from drivers forced to pay huge fees, often totalling several hundreds of pounds, after their cars have been clamped or towed away for parking on private land.

The Mail reports that the BPA has received 752 complaints since January, 70 of which involved breaches of its parking code.

For parking on public land, the Department for Transport has set maximum penalties of £120 for London and £70 for elsewhere. But the BPA says for its contractors, operating on private land, £125 is a fair price for releasing a clamp, £250 for towing away, and £35 a day for storage.

Edmund King of the AA said that the private charges were ‘immoral’. ‘There are more than 33 million motorists and they have votes,’ he said. ‘So this is an issue on which all political parties need to focus.’

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