A BEDFONT car park in which dozens of motorists have had their cars clamped while popping into their local shop has been fitted with a warning sign.
Hounslow Council announced its intention to put up a sign in the car park next to Pippin Court, Staines Road, last year after hearing about residents who were clamped and stung with £130 release fees for parking in spaces marked 'V' for visitor.
This week a large red sign has been put up, in a bid to warn people of the clamping operation.
The car park, run by Parking Control Management UK Ltd, is just behind the Londis Shop. Manager Naganatha Selva said he has had to deal with a number of distressed customers who parked there for just a few minutes and have returned to find they have been clamped.
Two signs warning drivers are on the wall by the spaces marked A to F, but there is no sign anywhere near the visitor spaces, which are set away from the others.
Local councillor Liz Mammatt has been pushing for action over what she describes as "inadequate and misleading" signage in the car park.
She said she is "delighted" to find the council installed a sign on Monday (March 7), warning motorists about the clamping company.
Cllr Mammatt said: "I am delighted that the council has installed a red sign here, warning motorists not to park in any of the spaces by Pippin Court as clamping is in operation there. It has been rigorously enforced, causing a lot of distress and expense.
"I have been working on this since the beginning of July 2010. There were no warning signs in the bays marked with a "V" for visitors so naturally people thought that they could use the locations whilst popping into the shop. The car parking company absolutely refused to acknowledge this ambiguity so after much pressure the council has clarified the position."
The large red sign reads 'Private parking residents only clamping in progress.'
Mr Selva spoke to The Chronicle last year about his frustration with the situation. He said: "It's ridiculous, people just pop into my shop for a lottery ticket or something and end up paying £130. If it says V for visitor on the space, people think they can park there, it isn't clear enough what they are doing".
The Chronicle invited the clamping firm to have its say, but got no response.