The Birmingham council boss responsible for trying to drive cowboy clampers out of the city has welcomed a new government ban as “long overdue”.
Chris Neville, head of trading standards at Birmingham City Council, said the authority had been campaigning for 20 years to make the practice illegal.
And he said it was good news for Birmingham because the city seemed to suffer more than its fair share of unscrupulous clampers and they were blighting its image.
Yesterday the Government announced that from early next year clamping would be illegal on private land.
A Bill will be put before Parliament in November.
It follows years of complaints from motoring organisations and councils about the “loutish” behaviour of private firms who, in some cases, extorted thousands of pounds out of unsuspecting drivers.
Mr Neville said Birmingham had some success in tackling the problem – with its biggest victory being the two-year jail term given to clamper Andrew Baker in May.
Baker, of Pithall Road, Shard End, admitted conspiracy to defraud 36 victims out of £12,000 via his firm Inter Park UK.
Mr Neville said two other high profile cases were due before the courts in the autumn – but that gathering the evidence was costly and time-consuming.
“We set up a three to four-person team to concentrate on these clampers which is a huge amount of resources,” he said.
“For some reason Birmingham has been hit worse than other cities and that is especially bad for people coming into the city who get clamped and then leave with a bad impression.”
Mr Neville said his department had spent the last 20 years trying to get clamping either outlawed or more tightly regulated.
“Every week we get motorists ringing up saying they’ve been clamped and is there anything we can do about it?” he said.