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Call for 'drastic' action to stop clamper's hefty fines
A gas engineer says something “drastic” should be done to stop a clamping company handing out hefty fines to Enfield's drivers.
Nick Gregoriou, 48, was charged £1,110 by the private company City Watch following a three-minute trip to Natwest in Hertford Road.
Mr Gregoriou, who has been parking in the spot for four years, says he always thought the stretch of road to the side of the bank was owned by Natwest and available for customer use.
According to Mr Gregoriou, the man working for City Watch was still putting the clamps onto his car when he came out of the bank just after midday on February 22.
The fine was so heavy because the member of staff had already called a tow truck to fetch his car from the road, but Mr Gregoriou is sure the man saw him enter the bank and knew he would return to his car in a very short space of time.
The gas engineer, who has lived in Enfield for 20 years, says he called his solicitor straight away to find out his rights.
According to his solicitor, Mr Gregoriou was parked illegally on private land, but he should not have to pay the costs incurred to order the truck as it was never used, and the staff member did not even have time to finish putting the clamps on his vehicle before he returned from the bank.
He said: “The only way anyone will take any notice of this is for something drastic to happen here.
“The police should do something about them.
“It seems they can charge what they want. It could be £10,000 if they wanted to. They need to justify it.”
He said the money, which he paid on his credit card straight away, has made a “huge difference” to him as it is a vast chunk of money to lose at once.
According to Mr Gregoriou, he tried negotiating with the man who was clamping his car, but the staff member refused to make an exception for his three-minute stay.
He said he accepts he was parked illegally, but would expect a fine of between £80 and £100, not more than a £1,000.
According to Natwest, the bank does not employ the clamping firm.
A spokesman for the Black Horse Pub in Enfield told the Enfield Independent last week that the pub pays for the clamping service, as it is the only way to stop people from using the pub car park when they are not drinking inside.
They also said that other shops on Hertford Road pay for the company to patrol the area and ensure people are not parking outside their businesses illegally.
Ganesh Prakasam contacted the Enfield Independent after he was fined £1,100 by the same company on Saturday, March 10.
Mr Prakasam, who is an IT consultant, stopped by the post office on the same road for three minutes.
The charge for both men is the equivalent to more than £360 per minute or £6 a second.
Henry Doulton, an 80-year-old widower, was also clamped in the car park of the Black Horse Pub in Hertford Road on Friday, March 2.
The retired serviceman was charged £205 and was left with no option, but to walk more than a mile home to collect his credit card to pay for his car to be released.
The Enfield Independent is waiting for a comment from City Watch.