"Anti-Social" Clamper clamped
A wheel clamper in Portsmouth has become the first in the UK to be clamped
by an interim anti social behaviour order.
The move, brought by Portsmouth City Council and police, has been welcomed
by the RAC Foundation as a radical step to stop the outrageous activities
of cowboy clampers.
Authorities in the city were so worried about the clamping activities
of this clamper that they raised this unusual action to protect residents
and visitors in advance of the summer months. It means that the clamping
boss could face five years in prison if he breaches the order.
The court awarded the interim anti social behaviour order on the grounds
that it was necessary to protect the public from further anti-social acts
from the clamper - defined as behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm
Now the Foundation is suggesting that other authorities might follow
Portsmouth's example. The Security Industry Authority - set up to regulate
the worst excesses of clamping companies - is unlikely to begin licensing
clampers until next year.
The RAC Foundation still has concerns that merely licensing clampers
will not solve the problems. The Foundation wants the regulations to be
extended to include towing away and blocking vehicles in - a suggestion
supported by 96 per cent in a recent SIA consultation. The Foundation
also believes that licensing will be hopeless without an enforced code
Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation said:
"We applaud Portsmouth City Council and the police for standing
up for the rights of motorists - I am sure that many other authorities
will be following this case with great interest and may follow suit if
they have a similar clamping nightmare on their patch. It is disappointing
that SIA progress is so slow. In the meantime cowboy clampers are still
running wild. This may be the only course of action left as a last resort
to authorities desperate to protect their citizens from the unacceptable
practices of unscrupulous clampers with criminal records and unsavoury
"If decent regulation cannot be introduced by the end of the year
we should follow the Scots example and just outlaw clamping as theft and
The interim anti social behaviour order prohibits the clamper involved
* Clamping without adhering to the British Parking Association codes of
* Clamping on land without the written authority of the legal occupier.
* Clamping without signs clearly displayed warning of the use of wheel
* Clamping or demanding money without producing the written authority
of the legal occupier of the land and proof of identification.
* Clamping or attempting to clamp a vehicle while the engine is running
* Blocking or attempting to block the pathway of vehicles on the road
or private land should the vehicle be occupied and the engine running
* Threatening, abusing or intimidating motorists where a wheel clamp has
or is being applied.
* Inciting, encouraging, aiding or abetting any other person to undertake
any of the above.
The catalogue of complaints against the Portsmouth clamper, who operates
his business at various locations around the city, is lengthy - with many
of the victims citing use of intimidation, threat, and abusive language.
* Cars in a particular car park all clamped on the blind side with no
warning signs on the windscreens - resulting in them being damaged when
the unwitting owners returned and drove them away unaware that they had
been clamped. One owner did £300 of damage to his vehicle and was
laughed at and told to: "get more glasses" when he challenged
* A taxi driver taking money to his son to pay a clamping charge was
also clamped and blocked in when he drove into the same car park.
* A man clamped for the second time when he returned to the car park
where he had previously been clamped. He returned because he had appealed
the first fine, received no reply and went back to get the clamper's telephone
number to follow up. His engine was running and he had pulled only slightly
off the road.
* A woman who went to pick up her son took a short cut across a private
car park in order to reach a side road. Her exit from the car park was
blocked by the clampers demanding money even though her engine was running
and her handbrake was not on.
* Clampers attempted to clamp two drivers who had executed three point
turns in the road - even though only their rear wheels came in contact
with the private car park.
* A woman with her children turned her car in the forecourt of a garage
with no intention of stopping. A tow truck pulled in front of her and
her car was clamped.
The RAC Foundation now intends to send its dossier of the worst clamping
cases to the Security Industry Authority so that when they eventually
set up their licensing scheme they will be able to check on the past record
QUATTROPORTE WINS BEST LUXURY CAR AWARD
In recognition of its stunning design and refined interior the Maserati
Quattroporte has won the coveted 'Best Luxury Car in Show' at the British
International Motor Show.
Thirty-five expert automotive designers and engineers from the membership
of the highly respected Institute of Vehicle Engineers (IVehE) toured
the Show and identified the Quattroporte as the leader in the segment
for Luxury cars (priced £25,0001 and over).
The panel of judges were unanimous in their citation for the award, 'A
combination of all-round competence and Italian flair put the Maserati
Quattroporte at the top of this category - it provided all things expected
of a luxury car but made the most impact on the judges, especially with
its stylish interior'.
A luxurious sporting saloon with the heart of a sportscar the Maserati
Quattroporte is now on sale in the UK. It delivers sensational refined
performance with an on-the-road price of £69,995 including a three-year
'peace of mind' service package. The Quattroporte on the stand at the
British International Motor Show is finished in Blu Sebring, but no two
cars need to be the same as customers can choose from a host of exterior
and interior colours from the Officine Alfieri Maserati Personalisation
The award was presented to Maserati S.p.A. Commercial Director Roberto
Ronchi and Maranello Concessionaires Managing Director Robert Hazelwood
by Mike Dickison, Chairman of the IVehE Motor Show Awards 2004 Judging
NEW ASTRA ESTATE REVEALED
The Astra Estate made its world debut at the Madrid Motor Show on 20 May.
Featuring a 2700 mm wheelbase, the new Astra Estate offers ample space for
passengers and luggage. In fact, with a wheelbase which is around nine centimetres
longer than the five-door and Estate predecessor, the new Estate offers
a load volume of up to 505 litres under the luggage cover. Folding down
the rear bench seat cargo volume is expanded to an exceptional 1570 litres.
Astra Estate will be available with the same choice of ECOTEC engines
as the five-door - four petrol and three diesel engines with displacements
from 1.4 to 2.0 litres and power outputs from 90 to 170 hp. Transmissions
range from a six-speed manual gearbox (for both of the 1.9 CDTi engines
and the 2.0 turbo petrol), a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic
(optional for 1.8 ECOTEC) as well as the latest version of the Easytronic
which is available in combination with the 1.6 TWINPORT. Astra Estate
goes on sale in November.
Meanwhile, Vauxhall's dynamic new Astra hatch is already proving a phenomenal
success since its on-sale date of 1 May. In fact, in just the four weeks
that Astra has been on sale 16,000 orders have been taken.
VAUXHALL A STAR AT NEC MOTOR SHOW
The Sunday Times Motor Show Live saw Vauxhall launch its new premium sports
brand, VXR. Inspired by the company's long history of racing success in
touring cars, VXR is all about affordable performance, unmistakable looks,
presence and exclusivity. And two stunning VXR models - a VX220 and Monaro
- were on the Vauxhall stand to mark the birth of this exciting new brand.
Also making its UK debut was the all-new Tigra, complete with its retractable
hard top. New Astra was on display as well, the show being the first time
many of the public will have had the opportunity to admire Vauxhall's
new segment leader, both inside and out.
FORD SETS INDUSTRY BENCHMARK FOR SEX EQUALITY
BRENTWOOD, 28 May, 2004 -- Ford of Britain's commitment to equality
in the workplace has earned an exceptional tribute from equal rights campaign
group Opportunity Now for its industry leading position.
The business-led group's 2004 benchmarking survey, which measures the
progress employers have made in ensuring equal treatment for men and women,
has singled Ford out for particular praise.
It is a member of an elite group of 25 businesses awarded platinum status,
an honour only bestowed on companies scoring between 95 per cent and 100
in the survey.
Ford's ability to motivate employees - everything from establishing a
vision and setting goals to creating the optimum management structure
- could not be bettered, scoring 100 per cent against a survey average
of 81 per cent.
Its ability to turn vision into reality was also flawless. Ford scored
100 per cent for ensuring equality in recruitment, work design and redeployment
and for developing equality behaviour, culture and accountability.
Monitoring of recruitment, training, promotion and pay, learning and
the impact of equality action on the organisation also scored top marks.
Women have thrived in this enlightened climate, occupying senior positions
in the organisation. High flyers include Monazza Khan, director of legal
affairs; Maureen Graham, director of programming and distribution; Pauline
Walsh, manufacturing manager at Dagenham Engine Plant; Kathryn Lees, South
East district manager; Linda Carpenter, small car planning manager and
Alexandra Walker, manager of powertrain manufacturing engineering.
European diversity director Surinder Sharma said: "We have only
been benchmarking for three years now and this shows the impressive progress
the company has made in terms of diversity issues generally, especially
after receiving gold last year. We are now seen as one of the leaders
in the UK, not just in manufacturing, but across the board."
Opportunity Now is a Business In The Community-led campaign that works
with employers to realise the economic potential and business benefits
that women at all levels contribute to the workforce.
Norma Jarboe, Opportunity Now director, said: "Ford demonstrates
an outstanding commitment to women in the workplace and has shown an exceptional
dedication to ensuring its working culture is inclusive and diverse. I
am personally impressed with Ford's work in this area and think that its
exceptional platinum mark clearly reflects the quality of its comprehensive
A second, official Lamborghini dealership has been opened in Stockport,
Owned and operated by H.R. Owen Plc, Lamborghini Manchester will complement
the original UK facility, Lamborghini London, established by H.R. Owen
Plc when it acquired the assets of Lamborghini GB from AFN in July 2000.
Lamborghini Manchester is based in Town Hall Square, Stockport and includes
a seven-car showroom and extensive service workshop, fitted throughout
to Lamborghini's corporate standards. The location officially opened in
May 2004, following investment of over £700,000 from H.R. Owen Plc.
Lamborghini Manchester will sell both new and pre-owned cars, and provide
all aftersales care for Lamborghini owners in the north.
"Opening a second Lamborghini dealership is an illustration of the
marque's success in the UK," said Dominic Lancaster, general manager
of both businesses. "The Lamborghini Murciélago, launched
in 2000 as the replacement for the Diablo, and the Lamborghini Gallardo
for which deliveries commenced in 2003, have both received media and customer
acclaim, and this second facility will support our growing market for
these models. The Stockport location is ideal: not only due to a concentration
of customers in the Cheshire and Lancashire regions, but because of its
accessibility to other key Midlands and northern regions."
To date, around 70 Lamborghini Murciélago and 100 Gallardo units
have been delivered by Lamborghini London. "Lamborghini Manchester
will allow us to deliver both increased numbers of cars, as well as service,
while the relatively low volumes produced by Lamborghini continue to assure
the marque's exclusivity," continued Dominic Lancaster.
The UK accounts for around 10% of the total world-wide market for Lamborghini
and, on parity with Japan, is the third largest behind the USA and Germany.
The 6.2 litre, V12 Lamborghini Murciélago retails from £168,000,
producing 570 bhp and a top speed of over 200 mph. The 5.2 litre, V10
Lamborghini Gallardo retails from £117,000, outputting 500 bhp and