Motorists can be reassured that change is on the way

COMMENT: All agencies must to held to account for Anne Savidge’s tragic death

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In the past we’ve revealed how clamping firms have targeted everyone from the disabled to the Queen’s protection officers.

Perhaps you’ve even been clamped yourself. But you don’t have to have been on the receiving end to disagree with the methods sometimes employed by some, or the high fees charged for a release by others.

The fact of the matter is that many have complained to us about car clamping firms.

And the people of Portsmouth in particular, have been through more than their fair share of ups and downs in relation to this matter in recent years.

So we know that many drivers will be eagerly anticipating the change in law which will make wheel clamping as it currently stands a thing of the past.

In future, only the police, DVLA and local authorities will be allowed to clamp vehicles – and surely that’s right?

One of the biggest issues surrounding this controversial topic has been the lack of any proper regulation and confusion over what are – and aren’t – acceptable codes of practice.

It’s about time motorists were given the reassurance to know where they stand when it comes to clamping.

Of course, there will be times when this sort of penalty is justified. Our car parks can’t be entirely free from rules and motorists who fall foul of properly displayed regulations can expect to be punished.

But it’s crucial that the punishment should fit the crime and it’s hard to see how bully-boy tactics and excessive fines can be viewed as fair.

We know that motorists who use the car parks in Cosham’s High Street have been monitoring the many twists and turns of the Protection of Freedoms Bill.

To the traders and drivers who have been calling for change, it might feel like a long time in coming.

Now they will know that City Watch Enforcement, the firm which patrols the car parks in question, won’t face prosecution.

But at least they can take comfort in the fact that new legislation is just around the corner.