Van man removes wheel to defy clampers!

VAN driver Keith Vickerstaff saw red when he fell victim to the guardians of car-clamp alley beside the Tesco store in Ipswich's Duke Street.

VAN driver Keith Vickerstaff saw red when he fell victim to the guardians of car-clamp alley beside the Tesco store in Ipswich's Duke Street.

The property maintenance engineer, who was working on the Waterfront, was not prepared to pay the �250 release fee after his van was clamped.

So he jacked up his van, took off the wheel the clamp was attached to, removed the clamp without damaging it, and gave it to police officers who were watching him.

The whole operation took two-and-a-half hours - and during the worst of Monday evening's torrential rain.

Today, Mr Vickerstaff said: “I was in Tesco for a couple of minutes and they pounced. They said they could not accept the normal release fee of �120 which I was prepared to pay because it is a commercial vehicle.

“I was told I could not remove the clamp because that would damage it and I'd be taken to court for criminal damage.

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“But I know how to take the wheel off - and I checked with two police officers who said if I didn't damage the clamp there was no offence.

“It took me a long time to take off the wheel and it was very uncomfortable, but I was determined to free my van. I gave the clamp to the police to return to the clampers so they could confirm it had not been damaged in any way.”

Scores of drivers have been clamped and fined for parking beside Tesco during the last six months.

A spokesman for Aspire Parking solutions confirmed that Mr Vickerstaff had managed to remove the clamp without causing any damage - but warned he had not got away with it.

He said: “We have his details and we will be writing to him to demand the �250 fee. If he does not pay up then we will pursue it through the civil courts.

“The notices clearly say that parking illegally attracts a fine of �120 for cars and �250 for commercial vehicles.”

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