Wheel Clamping: Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

The 1st May 2012 saw the Protection of Freedoms Act being given Royal Assent. Whilst covering many areas this also introduced further regulation of wheel clamping and has, in effect, outlawed wheel clamping of vehicles on private land. The actual offence is set out in section 54 of the Act and provides that anyone found guilty of an offence under this Act would be liable for a fine.

For many Private Estates wheel clamping has been used as an effective tool to prevent unauthorized third parties parking without authority. Clearly they will need to look again at what steps are taken. The Act does make clear that the use of a fixed barrier would not be a an offence if the barrier was in place when the vehicle was parked whether in use or not. For many estates this is not a desirable option but other options are limited.

Clearly for any estates currently using wheel clamping they will need to liaise with their provider and see what if any alternative services they may offer such as imposition of fines etc. Sadly it seems that the actions of “cowboy” clampers have meant that this method of protecting rights has now been removed.


  • Peter Smith 15th May 2012 at 7:17 am

    I don’t see how the “blame” should be put on “cowboy clampers.” It is the private landowners who have loosed the cowboys to operate on their land. That this tyranny has been brought to an end is to be welcomed.

  • Kim Ward 15th May 2012 at 9:58 am

    Thank you for the update on the progress of this act. Our understanding is that this does not come into effect until 1st October 2012, please can you clarify?

  • Steve Dean 19th May 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Will it therefore be unlawful for a certificated bailiff to immobilise a vehicle seized under the laws of distress?

    • PainSmith 23rd May 2012 at 8:58 am

      Certificated baliffs are covered by their own rules and regulations

  • Les Newman 5th July 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Will the same clamping regulations apply on ‘Land’ owned/governed by, for instance, Network rail or Crown Property which has its own bylaws?

    • PainSmith 10th July 2012 at 9:02 am

      It is believed the Act will apply to private land. Commencement orders are due very soon and may clarify what will be included.

  • peter 23rd August 2012 at 9:19 pm

    on 20/8/12 in Maidstone services i witnessed at least 10 vechiles vans and lorries clamped,what will be the law reguarding motoway svs after 1/10/12

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