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For more information about parking and fines in Hounslow , call 020 8583 5028 or log onto www.hounslow.gov.uk. If you think that your vehicle may have been removed, contact trace on 020 7747 4747.

For further information about Ealing council’s parking operations call 020 8825 6677.

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As of this Monday (10th October) illegally parked vehicles may be clamped and towed away in a new arrangement between Hounslow Council and NCP.

The minimum amount payable to release a vehicle is £190, with the possibility of having to pay additional daily storage charges. Under the new contract, NCP will carry out removals and correspondence, while parking enforcement remains in-house.

Some residents have expressed concern that parking attendants are increasingly opportunistic in issuing tickets and there are likely to be concerns that clamping operations will be similarly target orientated. This may mean that they will focus 'soft' areas like Chiswick's Controlled Parking Zones where they are likely to find more vehicles to clamp and tow away. The majority of the Council's parking related revenue already comes from the Chiswick area.

We asked Hounslow Council to clarify how the policy would be implemented, for instance would clamping be more prevalent in areas with lots of controlled parking zones such as Chiswick. A spokesperson said that the scheme would cover the whole borough and added, "any vehicle to which a PCN has been issued is at risk of being removed. The London Borough Hounslow will target vehicles which are dangerously parked, parked on the footway or in disabled spaces , bus stops and bus lanes, people causing a nuisance to others, and persistent offenders with PCNs beyond the representation and appeal stage. We will also target hotspots. If drivers are concerned about being removed, the answer is to park legally."

Ealing Council have had clampers operating in the borough since March 14th but they have not typically operated in residential areas.

Clamped vehicles in Ealing can be released if a fee of £65 is paid as well as a removal fee of £150 if the vehicle is towed away to the Council's vehicle pound in Brent Crescent NW10.

Hounslow’s Parking Manager, Helen Kent, said, “We enforce the parking regulations in order to remove hazards and reduce congestion. Our customers include people who are inconvenienced by and vulnerable to dangerous and anti-social parking. Under the new contract, these drivers could now face removal as well as a penalty charge notice.”

Bob Macnaughton, Chief Executive of NCP, said: “Most drivers take care to park responsibly, which is important to keep the streets clear and the traffic flowing. But those who don’t can very rapidly cause unacceptable congestion – not to mention the fact that unlawful parking can cause a road safety hazard, as well as being a nuisance to other road users. ”

October 8, 2005