The end of private clamping

Private firms will no longer be allowed to clamp Photo: PA

Three weeks from now, they will be outlawed - and it will be illegal for private firms to clamp your car and make you pay an extortionate release fee.

On the face of it - it seems like good news. But the AA says it has seen a rise in the number of drivers being fined as companies take advantage of their powers while they still can.

In the mean time - drivers are being urged to be vigilant

It's claimed there has been a big rise in the number of people in the region being clamped.The move is ahead of a ban next month.

The Basingstoke based AA say clamping firms are taking advantage "of the final three weeks of clamping on private land by imobilsing as many people as passible."

From October 1st clamping will be banned on private land except for stations and airports. Councils will also be able to clamp.

The AA say a number of its own patrols have been clamped in recent days and in one case were charged £1,000 for a patrol van to be released. In bothcases staff were attending members who had broken down.

AA President Edmund King said reports reaching them suggested that clampers were "all out to raise as much money from drivers as they could and people should avoid parking anywhere they may be immobilised."

Clampers Meridian spoke to said if people did not park on private land they would not get clamped, that fees charged by most were in line with national guidelines andthey operated a fair policy to all.