A CLAMPING company has left Edgware residents disgruntled after implementing draconian measures to curtail intrusive parking.

People living in Symphony Close have seen a blanket restriction on parking, with the whole area under clamping controls 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Signs erected across the estate warn that vehicles left unattended will be towed away immediately at a cost of £170, plus a £95 clamp fee.

Residents claim the restrictions, enforced by Regional Clamping Services to deter commuters and hospital visitors from parking in the road, are too extreme.

Only one permit per house has been provided, with one visitor pass available for each property.

Resident Penny O'Connor said: "They haven't given us enough permits, and so we can't hold parties or have more than one person drive to see us.

"There was a problem with people parking on both sides of the road, but now our neighbours have to share the front of our drive because they have more than one car and can't use the road."

Problems arose when drivers used the road to park while visiting nearby Edgware Community Hospital.

Kerry Carlton, who lives in the close, admits that cars parking at the entrance were blocking access for emergency services.

She said: "My daughter regularly needs hospital treatment. There was no way an ambulance could get down the entrance road to the houses.

"I didn't think they would use clampers - we had hoped for yellow lines. I think it's disgusting that it could be more than £300 to take the clamping off."

Regional Clamping Services demands that release fees are paid in cash and charges an additional £35 charge a day for holding a car.

A spokesman for management agents CPM, which manages the flats, said: "Parking restrictions were brought in to respond to a health and safety issue on the development.

"Access ways were being obstructed by vehicles of residents, the hospital and businesses, resulting in a situation whereby residents - and potentially emergency vehicles - were not able to gain entry."

He stressed that enforcement of access ways and visitor bays takes place only from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, while restrictions for allocated residents' bays apply around the clock.

He insisted a residents' meeting to consult on the changes showed widespread support for them.

He said: "This scheme of enforcement has so far proved to be effective and appropriate."

However a spokeswoman for Family Mosaic, the housing association responsible for the homes, said: "We are looking into the residents' claims and the setting up of the clamping scheme, because there was not a full consultation on the restrictions."