"WHAT THE NEW LAWS SHOULD SAY
FULL RIGHT OF APPEAL
Motorists who receive penalties on public roads have a legal right to an independent appeal. Motorists clamped on private land are at the mercy of a completely unregulated regime.
At best, firms offer a right of appeal only to themselves, and are obliged only to send a letter explaining why the penalty is being upheld.
AN INDEPENDENT TRIBUNAL SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED TO HEAR APPEALS BY MOTORISTS WHO ARE CLAMPED ON PRIVATE LAND.
STRICT LIMITS ON PENALTIES
For parking offences on public land, maximum penalties are fixed by the Department for Transport. Outside of London, the upper limit is £70. Inside the capital, it increases to £120.
The charge for recovering a vehicle which has been towed away is £105, with a storage charge of £12 per day. The maximum charge for removing a clamp is £40.
On private land, clampers can charge whatever they want. Drivers regularly receive demands for £500.
THE MAXIMUM PENALTIES FOR INFRINGEMENTS ON PRIVATE LAND SHOULD BE IDENTICAL TO THOSE ON PUBLIC ROADS.
RESTRICTIONS ON TOWING
Councils are advised to remove a vehicle only if it is causing a danger, blocking access or if it appears to have been abandoned.
Private clampers routinely tow vehicles away within minutes of a parking offence taking place. This allows them to maximise profits by charging for both the removal of the vehicle and the original penalty.
NO VEHICLE SHOULD BE TOWED AWAY UNLESS IT IS POSING A DANGER, BLOCKING ACCESS OR HAS BEEN ABANDONED.
INCENTIVES FOR CLAMPING
Councils are instructed not to offer incentives to traffic wardens to penalise as many motorists as possible. Because private car parks are unregulated, no such arrangements exist.
Deals can be struck between clampers and landowners to pay a commission for each motorist who is forced to pay a penalty.
THE USE OF INCENTIVES SHOULD BE BANNED. CLAMPING FIRMS SHOULD RECEIVE A FIXED SUM FOR POLICING PRIVATE LAND, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY MOTORISTS ARE ISSUED WITH PENALTIES."