BEING ripped-off by a car clamper is infuriating.

Of course there need to be some parking restrictions in town centres, but many Taunton Deane residents have complained to me about the outrageous treatment that they have received at the hands of car clampers.

Some have been clamped when stopping off to help a disabled person; others have had their vehicles impounded; and the fines are often completely extortionate.

Many motorists do not feel they have been subjected to parking enforcements; they feel like victims of legalised daylight robbery. This is particularly true when the car clampers are physically intimidating and aggressive.

I have been campaigning for tighter restrictions on car clampers, including raising my concerns repeatedly with Home Office Ministers.

So I am delighted that the Government has finally agreed to take action.

There will now be an “independent, fair and transparent appeals process” for motorists who wish to make a complaint against a car clamper. These are expected to be successful “where the maximum release fee has been exceeded and cases where a fee should not have been imposed at all, such as if the signage was inadequate”. That should help to tackle the most serious abuses.

With some of the fines completely out of proportion to the scale of the offence, I am also pleased that the Government Minister has promised a maximum fee to protect motorists from “exorbitant charges”.

Having your car clamped will still be annoying, but motorists will now be able to get a reasonable hearing and be protected from the worst abuses.