A forecourt retailer whose site was recently blockaded by drivers over car clamping fees said fines and clamping

were necessary to deal with problem vehicles. Chris Evans, who owns Trench Lock 24/7 in Telford, said: “We have 15-20 spaces for our customers. We have a children’s activity centre right next door and some people who use that block our spaces for four or five hours at a time. Then we get cars abandoned on the site – one blocked our air/water and jet wash area. Another was left unlocked. Anyone could have got in and let the handbrake off plus it’s a big fire risk having abandoned vehicles on a forecourt. This car was not taxed so it would not have been insured.”

Chris said the problems started four years ago so he enlisted the help of a parking services company.

“There are signs up saying people can only park here if they are on the premises. The parking company doesn’t clamp straight away; they issue fines first. And if someone had genuinely broken down and told us so, we would help them out. They wouldn’t get a ticket.”

However a couple of disgruntled drivers organised the blockage of the forecourt at 5pm one night last month and informed the local newspaper.

But Chris remained defiant: “I have got the right to remove any vehicle that’s causing an obstruction. We need to keep the parking spaces free for our customers. Most of our customers are very supportive; they like to come here because there is parking available.”