DVLA clamper branded a 'disgrace'By Becky Barnes
July 23, 2012
Overzealous DVLA clampers have apologised after wrongly clamping an untaxed scooter parked on private land.
Volunteer fire chaplain Colin Paterson branded the clampers ‘a disgrace’ after the blunder.
He was shocked to find the scooter, which was covered and written off two months ago, had been clamped and fined in his private parking space on Tuesday. Colin, of Springhill Court in Crowthorne Road, said: “The bike had not been used for a long time, it was on a private car park attached to my home.
“Yet it had a DVLA clamp and a notice saying ‘no exceptions, no excuses, no escape’.”
The note said the 64-year-old must pay £100 within 24 hours or the fee would increase. “If the vehicle was towed, he faced charges of £330 for recovery or £700 for ‘exceptional circumstances’.
VEAS operates on behalf of the DVLA and can impose fines and clamps, or even tow away and destroy vehicles not displaying a valid tax disc.
Colin said: “I rang the DVLA and they said if the car park is allocated to you and off the road and the bike is covered then they do not have a right to put it [a clamp] on.
“I rang VEAS and was told this was irrelevant and I must prove the car park was private with photocopies of the plan of the building.”
Colin spent around four hours trying to send the plans to VEAS and even enlisted the help of firefighters from Bracknell Fire Station, where he is volunteer chaplain.
“It’s an absolute disgrace. If it were an older person this could cause a heart attack,” he said.
Colin returned home to find the clamp gone that afternoon, but says he received no explanation or apology.
A VEAS spokeswoman said: “Our enforcement officers located an untaxed scooter, which was believed to be parked on public land. The scooter’s vehicle registration number was on show. We sought authorisation, as we do with all vehicles, from the DVLA who check their records for the most up to date information.
“It was confirmed the scooter had not been taxed for two months and, as such, our officers clamped the vehicle.
“Unfortunately, on this occasion, our officers wrongly clamped the vehicle, as the owner confirmed it was parked on privately owned land.
“As soon as we received proof of this, we removed the clamp immediately.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to the owner in having to provide this information and will ensure while the vehicle remains untaxed on private land, we will not take enforcement action again.”