Driver left fuming by �350 bill after clampers swoop

IPSWICH: A driver ‘went ballistic’ when he was fined �350 after his van was clamped in Ransomes Europark.

Steve Raines, 44, hit the roof when he returned to his van having shopped at Screwfix in Foxtail Road, to find his vehicle had been clamped.

Mr Raines, a self-employed plumber, said he felt ‘robbed’ when he was charged �352.50 including VAT for parking on a path at the retail site on Wednesday.

“I was fuming,” he said. “I only expected the clamper to say the fine was �60 but when I realised the amount, I went ballistic.”

Mr Raines, of Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, said he had parked on the path near the store as he couldn’t find a space in the car park when he arrived just before 9am.

When he returned to his van at 9.25am, he was amazed to find he had been clamped.

“I felt like I had been robbed,” he said. “If it had been �60, that’s fair but �300 is just ridiculous.

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“I might as well have stayed in bed for two days as I have lost those days’ wages.”

Mr Raines, a father of three, confronted the clamper, who pointed out there was a restriction sign near where he had parked.

When he asked how much it would be to release his van, Mr Raines was furious to find it topped �350.

“It’s extortionate really,” he said. “If it had been �60 it’s fair dos but �300 is just ridiculous.

“It is wrong in a recession. They think they can get away with it”

Mr Raines, was not the only person to be caught by the clampers on Wednesday.

Police were called to defuse an argument between a parking attendant and a man whose car was parked illegally at around 10.45am outside Screwfix.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said the clampers were acting legitimately.

No-one from the clamping company was available for comment last night.