Soccer mums pay a huge penalty

PUBLISHED: 11:20 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:49 26 October 2009

MUMS dropping their young sons off for football practice fell foul of clampers demanding hundreds of pounds. The shocked parents had pulled onto the side of the private road between the de Havilland campus and the Herts Sports Village s artificial pitches

MUMS dropping their young sons off for football practice fell foul of clampers demanding hundreds of pounds.

The shocked parents had pulled onto the side of the private road between the de Havilland campus and the Herts Sports Village's artificial pitches when the clampers struck.

One mother-of-three, who did not wish to be named, was dropping off her nine-year old son at the Hatfield venue.

She had her two younger children with her as well.

She said: "It was around 6pm so quite dark but as I walked down to the sports pitch with my son I spotted a tow truck.

"When I walked back a few minutes later I saw my car had been clamped and a friend was appealing to them to unclamp her car.

"Luckily, I had some money and gave them £120 to free my car but they insisted they had to call in the tow truck for my friend's car so she had to pay more than £320 or go to Slough to get it back."

She had to lend her friend the money so she could get home and said: "I know we were wrong to park there - even for just a few minutes - but this treatment seemed too harsh.

"It was dark and we had young children with us so we had to pay up hundreds of pounds to get away."

Parents had been forced to park on the road for the last two months because the university car park was often full, she added.

In addition, the road was unmarked, unused and unlit with quite small warning signs in place.

A spokesman for Goodman International, which owns the site, said: "The access road alongside the sports village is being developed into a bus route which is scheduled to come into use later this year.

"Parking restrictions have been put in place for safety reasons as it will be dangerous to park cars on a bus route.

"We have tried to ensure that drivers do not get clamped by placing clear signs along the access road, at the entrance of, and throughout Hatfield Business Park.

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