I've just been clamped for parking in a disabled parking bay in an underground car park. I've had to pay £150 for release of my. I'd paid the pay and display fee and when I parked up it was night time, poorly light (hard to prove in daytime) and full of puddles. The only indication that is was a disabled parking bay (which I only saw the morning after) was a white diasble sign on the floor. The size of the bay was exactly the same as all the other bays. I though that all disabled bays had to be of a specific extra width and near to the entrance/exit - which it wasn't really. Where do I stand if I try to write to the clamping company?
HiThank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. I will try to help with this.Is this a private land car park or a council one?
It was private. It was Ferry Quays Carpark in Brentford, London
Private land clamping has been in the news rather a lot in recent years. There was talk that it would be outlawed but it hasn't happened yet. In the UK they haven't even introduced substantial regulation beyond the common law. However the common law does provide protection.The only safeguard that has been introduced is that any clamper on private land must be SIA regulated. From what you've said, they probably were so there's an end to that. But there are other challenges.Clamping is essentially an extension of fining. The legal basis for this activity is either contract or trespass. They will be saying that you accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long or in a variety of other ways or that the act of parking there at all amounts to a trespass. In either cause of action they will have to show that the signs they erected were sufficient.Obviously you have to bear in mind that I haven't had full vision of the case. However, signs must not only exist but must be such that the reasonable motorist can tell upon moderate inspection that he is disallowed from parking there. On that basis you could claim against them.There is a further argument but I should mention that I have never succeeded with it yet. If you are suing anyway then you could ask them to show that clamping was a self help remedy here. Trespass allows them to use self help remedies. I can completely see that towing a vehicle that offends is a self help remedy because it removes the trespasser but clamping just seems to me to immobilise the vehicle so its not really a self help act. I have never found a Judge that will accept that yet though but it does no harm to be added as a lesser argument.You will have to sue in the small claims court as they won't relent. Whether they would contest it once they receive papers or not is another matter. You can issue herewww.moneyclaim.gov.ukIt will cost about £35-£50 to do so and you can claim that back if you win.I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.Hope this helps. I would be grateful if you could please rate my answer and provide quick feedback. If necessary, I can then provide further advice and guidance as required and answer any specific questions you may have. Thank you
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