Thursday, 5 January 2012

Blackheath's Cator Estate faces wheel clamping ban


Residents of Blackheath's private Cator Estate are to be banned from clamping vehicles on their land.

In an attempt to outlaw "rogue clampers" the government's Protection of Freedoms bill will prohibit all but local councils from using wheel clamps.

Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone said of the ban last year: 

"By criminalising clamping and towing on private land this Government is committing rogue clampers to history and putting an end to intimidation and excessive charges once and for all."

As the above photo shows, people parking without a permit on the Cator Estate can expect to pay pretty steep charges to collect their vehicles.

The Cator Estate's management board have been lobbying the government for a special exemption from the bill but to no avail.

In a newsletter to residents sent late last year they state that:

"The government’s Protection of Freedoms Bill, currently going through the last stages of the legislative process in parliament, contains a clause that will ban wheel clamping on all private land. It gives no concessions for estates such as ours to derogate from the ban. The board, with the help of the Rev Adam Scott, has been lobbying our local MPs, and members of the House of Lords, to exclude estates such as ours from this provision. However, we are advised that the clause will remain in the Act which is likely to come into force early next year and the Board has therefore decided to implement the only available alternative to deter illegal parking on the estate."

The estate will now switch to handing out parking fines instead.

The new fines will come into effect in either late February or early March. It is not yet known at what level they will be set.

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