NI – soon to be the towing and clamping capital of the UK

Belfast is the libel capital of the world – Britney Spears took action through Belfast courts a few years ago – and now Northern Ireland is to remain the towing and clamping capital of the UK.

Car being lifted and towed away in front of Belfat Hilton Hotel in 2008

Car clamping on private land was banned in Scotland back in 1991. Now as part of the Freedom Bill, legislation will be introduced in Parliament in November to outlaw “cowboy” clamping and towing on private land in England and Wales. (Landowners will be encouraged to erect barriers rather than relying on signage and circling tow trucks.)

This leaves NI as the only part of the UK where someone can be punished for parking without permission on someone else’s land. There’s also no sign of similar legislation being introduced in the rest of Ireland.

(I recently met the owner of the car I snapped being lifted and towed … small world!)

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  • Yeah, sad. All those parking profiteers will have to find new avenues of exploitation. Checking up on the malingerers and benefit-scroungers, and this time at the public expense?

    The worship of the car by this government (which, of course, has no NI component or commitment) continues apace. It must be some kind of displacement therapy.

    First the switch-off of the Gatsos, now this. Am I impressed? Hardly.

    I am told that many of the Gatsos will continue to record, and are of course only one small part of the surveillance society.

    I see that the speedsters are already taking advantage. Within the last couple of days, one very disillusioned Oxfordshire resident was recording on the web how the switch-off in his patch was followed, within days, by a visit from the emergency services and the air ambulance. No coincidence, of course. The price will continue to be paid by the children and the elderly, but they are economical dispensable.

    By the way, the big story is the anniversary of the first UK road death. The first of 550,000 and counting (about a quarter more than the UK total of military and civilian war dead in 1939-45). But, hey! if it keeps Mondeo man happy and makes the front pages of the tabloids, that’s a winner!

  • Water may be the next thing to be banned …

  • joeCanuck

    How quickly do the clampers/towers arrive? Here in London Ontario they got it down to 5 – 10 minutes, even on side streets. Unfortunately, a few years ago, for the owner of one of the biggest companies, he was jailed for some unrelated offence and when word got around the jail as to who he was, many of his “victims” who were also incarcerated, decided to mete out some “justice” of their own. Poor guy ended up in hospital.

  • I share Malcom Redfellow’s unhappiness with the speed camera switch-off and the huge number of road deaths, but I’m glad the government has banned clamping and towing on private land in England and Wales (no word about cowboy ticketeers). Allowing these people to operate is of no benefit to anyone except themselves and (usually) the person who owns the land. This is hardly part of the “worship of the car”, this is a common sense decision that makes a different to people who don’t fit the stereotype of petrolheads, such as the nurse who was clamped while visiting a patient.

    Also, anyone concerned about “worship of the car” should campaign for better public transport. That would do a lot to cut the number of cars on the roads.

  • Michael

    I used to live near the king’s hall about 7 or 8 years ago. It never failed to get me worked up to come to 2 or 3 farmer’s SUV’s in my front garden, one in my parking spot at the rear and two more blocking my driveway every time the Balmoral show started.

    Worst thing was the half empty £10 for the entire day car park next door. Everytime I complained to the traffic police they would shrug and say
    ‘private land, nothing to do with us’.
    So I usually started deflating tires at that point, didn’t realise I could have made a few quid outta the subsidy grabbing bastards.

  • Neil

    That’s Lanyon place outside the BT tower, they clamp you the second they spot the car.

  • Yes – the owner had nipped into the Hilton …

  • British Citizen

    Northern Ireland behind the rest of the UK that has never happened before!