Clamping leaves bad taste in diner’s mouthBy Victoria Corbett
December 01, 2008
A diner had to fork out £330 to free his friend’s car from clampers, who he claims said they were removing the car to protect it from drunken vandals.
David Eighteen, 41, of Clare Avenue, is the latest victim of the Rose Street car park clampers and is furious to have been forced to pay the large fine.
The father-of-three said: “My friends had come to visit in their car and left it in the privately-owned section of the car park, not knowing they had parked in the wrong place.
“We then had to pay this fine, including a removal fee. The car was not blocking any other cars, it was the only one in the car park, and I decided to take this up with Parking Control Management [the company which issued the fine].
“I pressed them about why it had been removed and I found out it had been authorised for removal because the pubs were going to be turned out soon and it could be vandalised.”
Mr Eighteen and a group of friends from London had enjoyed a meal at Ruchetta in Rose Street on Friday, November 14, when they returned to the car at around 10.30pm to find the clamp.
Mr Eighteen paid the fine for his friend.
While Mr Eighteen accepts the car had been parked in the wrong place, he said £330 is way too steep for the time the vehicle was there.
He said: “I am going to appeal it but I do not see much coming of it. I am a father-of-three and having £330 lost in November prior to Christmas is not good.”
Another driver also came forward to The Wokingham Times last week to complain about the clampers, who clamped her car on Thursday, November 13.
The women, who does not want to be named, said the clamp was fitted to her car less than 10 minutes after she parked it in the private section of the car park and she was charged £370 to remove it.
She said: “My advice, don’t go into Wokingham centre, and if you do, be very careful where you leave your car or you will be the victim of a legal mugging.
“Can’t find a place to park? Double yellow lines are a much cheaper option!”
The Wokingham Times has been contacted by several drivers this year who have received fines of more than £300 for parking in the private section of Rose Street’s car park.
Signage is in place at the car park, which outlines the fines, however motorists say the clampers are being too quick to charge the removal fee and the charge should not be so steep.