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Can we end the clamping menace?

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MOVES are afoot to try and bring an end to the general unpleasantness caused by aggressive tactics employed by car clampers in Culcheth.
Former parish councillor Gordon Aspey is trying to arrange an informal round table meeting of people affected by the clamping on the car parks serving the Lodge Drive shopping parade – including site owner Mrs Valerie Lythgoe of LNL Properties, of Winwick.
This follows a number of further incidents of motorists being clamped on the car park late at night – long after the Parade shops had closed.
Motorists have arrived after dark, not noticed the warning notices and been shocked on their return after a meal at a local restaurant to find their vehicles clamped.
They are usually forced to pay the clampers £80 to have their vehicles released.
Signs indicate that parking spaces are only for people patronising the Lodge Drive shops and warn that misuse will result in cars being clamped. But victims claim the clampers hide nearby, waiting to see where motorists go and then clamp them. They make no attempt to warn drivers of what will happen.
Mr Aspey said: “I do not want a confrontational meeting – I want to find a solution to the problem that will suit everyone.
“We are led to believe the clampers were originally brought in to make sure the car park was not taken over by builders when the nearby flats were being built. I can accept that.
“I can also see the need to keep long-term parkers away during the day when the shops are open. But why the restriction is needed in the evening when most of the shops are shut I can’t imagine.
“What I would like is a friendly, round-the-table meeting so we can find out why the clamping is continuing. It cannot be because of the builders now, nor can it be necessary at night when only restaurants and wine shops remain open.
“We need to know the reasons behind the clamping and then we may be able to come up with a solution that will suit everyone – shoppers, shopkeepers, landowners and motorists. There are other options, including waiting limits or pay and display parking.
“If we can’t come up with a solution, we run the risk of seeing our shops go into decline, with some possibly closing.”

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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