A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
The "Stop the Clamping Group" was setup to channel the support for action expressed on Bowes&Bounds forum pages. If you judge the group by its goal, its been a failure. Almost every day of the week the clampers continue to cash-in on shocked motorists.
Council Warning Signs
The group initially approached Haringey Council to request that they put-up warning signs at the entrance to the private clamping zone near the Bounds Green tube station. The clamper's own signage is inconspicuous.
The Haringey Parking Projects Team Leader told us that his department could not put up signs as it had to consider not only the cost of signage but also the cost of ongoing maintenance. The risk of the signage getting repeatedly damaged by reversing lorries or vandalism was too high. He proposed that instead they would paint an white line to emphasise the border between the public highway and the entrance to Latham Court. These lines have now been in place for past three weeks.
The yellow line at the second entrance to Latham Court has been supplemented with a new white "barrier" line.
Latham Court entrance nearest to tube station
has new white "barrier" line.
Warning Signs in Shop Windows
The motorists who get hit by the £125 and £215 clamp release fees are customers of the local shops; so we thought we could enlist the shopkeepers' help to warn their customers. Notices shouting "release fee £125" were printed:
True, the warnings in shop windows may come too late. The victims' cars are normally clamped shortly after they turn their backs on the car, but there would still be a value in educating regular customers.
When we visited the shops we discovered the uncomfortable reality for shopkeepers. They need to co-exist with the clampers. For example, on the tube side of the road customers have a right to park in front of the shops. The shops therefore depend on the clamper to waive the release fee for customers.
Nine out of the ten shopkeepers we spoke to expressed frustration at the predatory actions of the clampers. Despite their overwhelming support for adequate warning signs, only one of the shopkeepers went ahead and displayed an A4 size warning sign outside his shop. A day later the shopkeeper took it down.
Name and Blame Landlords
The landlords Paramount Roofing and Scorpio Minicabs & Courier are ultimately responsible for the clamping. The owners of these businesses match the cunning, exploitative portrayal of their profession by writers such as Jonathan Swift and Karl Marx. Not only have they given the clampers the right to clamp but they have also continue to allow them to carry on their predatory clamping practices with no interference.
The landlords should have erected highly visible signage and forced the clampers to adhere to a code of practice that includes giving offending vehicles a chance to move before being clamped.
1. The offices of Paramount Roofing on Green Lanes. They are the landlords of Latham Court.
2. The offices of Scorpio Minicabs and Couriers on Bounds Green Road. They are the landlords of Queens Parade courtyard.
An article was placed in the Haringey Independent on 4/5/2012 which highlighted the clamping problem and laid blame on Mr John Krajewski the director of Paramount Roofing. Then we setup support pages to assist motorists who wish to sue for recover of their clamp release fees. During the initial outrage of getting clamped many motorists vow to sue the clampers. The information pages aim to address the problem faced by victims: they lack information about who to sue and what are permissible grounds for suing. We want to provide the information and support necessary to ensure conviction of both the clampers and the landlords for unfair clamping. A positive result of the support pages is that victims have approached us for further assistance.
Your Help Needed
You don't have to have been clamped to object. You can complain to Haringey Trading Standards about the actions of the clampers. Please go to The Citizen's Advice Bureau complaint form to register your concerns about the poor signage. They will pass-on your concerns to the local Trading Standards Officer.
The 1st of October is when clamping on private land finally becomes illegal. And then Bounds Green will become, a far more pleasant place to live and work in. No more the sight of tearful clamp victims. Nor will we face the ominous presence of the clampers lurking near our shops.
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