Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting Harrow Times to 80360, or email us
Betty Boothroyd backs Harrow Times clamping campaign
9:30am Saturday 25th October 2008 in News reports
A FORMER Speaker of the House of Commons has backed the Harrow Times’ campaign for better regulation of clampers.
Baroness Betty Boothroyd fell victim to a clamping company while visiting a friend in Haworth, Yorkshire, and is insisting there is a need for stricter rules for clampers.
The company, Carstoppers, is notorious in the area for strict enforcement of its policy, gaining the dubious honour of winning the RAC Dick Turpin Award for the nation’s worst clamper in 2003.
One of its workers clamped the car belonging to Baroness Boothroyd’s friend because the parking ticket they had paid for had fallen face down on the dashboard.
Baroness Boothroyd said: “I think it was outrageous. I thought we would be told, ‘Girls, do not do it again, put it the right way up and make sure it is.’ There was no kindliness at all.
“I have been driving for more than 50 years and never had such an experience. It was totally unreasonable for them to have clamped us.
“I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have the money on me, and the man was very short and matter of fact about it.”
The incident happened as Baroness Boothroyd and her friend visited the widow of a recently deceased MEP.
They returned to the car seven minutes before their pay and display ticket ran out, only to be slapped with a £75 charge because the ticket had fallen the wrong way up.
Baroness Boothroyd said: “I can understand clamping on double yellow lines in central London, and on busy thoroughfares.
“But in a private car park like that in Haworth, there is no need.
“I think there should be more regulation of what clampers can and can’t do.”
Baroness Boothroyd has vowed to appeal against her clamping fine, and says she will speak in the House of Lords about the need for more regulation of the clamping industry.
Car park owner Ted Evans defended the clamping of the two women’s car.
He said: “The ticket expiry time was not on show. She had a ticket, I accept that.
“The situation is that the man who looks after the car park doesn’t know what time they are due to leave. It’s pay and display and they didn’t display.”