Dramatic rise in wheel clampers

A Government consultation on the car clamping industry has done nothing to curb the rise in the number of people holding wheel clamping licenses over the past year, according to new figures.

The number of licensed clampers in the UK currently stands at 2,100, a dramatic rise from the 1,200 registered in March 2008 prior to the vehicle immobilisation consultation by the Home Office in April this year.

RAC Foundation director, Professor Stephen Glaister, said the car clamping business is particularly attractive because of how easy it is to register for a licence and the potentially handsome rewards of clamping in a built-up area.

Prof Glaister said: "There will be little festive cheer for bargain hunters if they put a wheel wrong when it comes to parking.

"The figures reveal more and more people are becoming clampers because the business is so lucrative and the law surrounding it so lax.

"The huge rise in licence holders proves the Government needs to act quickly. It has promised a cap on fees, an appeals service and a binding code of conduct. In 2010 it needs to deliver.

"The RAC Foundation is urging drivers to be extra careful over the festive period and to check parking arrangements before they head for the shops, and to consider options like park and ride."

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