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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 08:39 GMT
Clamping firm "worst in UK"
Traders say the clampers are putting the squeeze on business
A car-clamping firm in Bronte country has been branded as the most hated in Britain.

The aggressive tactics used by Carstoppers have earned it the RAC Foundation's 'Dick Turpin' award for being the modern day equivalent of a highway robber.

The RAC carried out a national search to find the clamper which most annoys the public.

And they were inundated with calls from irate motorists who have been clamped in the picturesque Pennine village of Haworth, where private car parks are patrolled by Carstoppers.

Lack of goodwill

RAC executive director Edmund King said: "We had many hundreds of nominations from all over the country and there really were some pretty dreadful cases.

"But Carstoppers received far more nominations than any other company anywhere in the country.

"They were singled out for their dogged determination and lack of goodwill."

Haworth's picturesque high street
Operating from a PO box address and using just a mobile phone, Carstoppers is run by the Evans family, which also owns the car parks where it operates.

The survey highlighted several examples of the extent to which the company will go to secure a clamping.

On one occasion it immobilised a car while the driver was asleep inside.

Another time, a heavily-pregnant woman had to walk two miles to the nearest cash machine to get money to pay the firm.

And it showed no mercy to a wheelchair using visitor and her husband who arrived late at their car after struggling to walk up the steep hill in the centre of Haworth.

Local traders say the firm's heavy-handed tactics have caused a downturn in tourism in the area.

Ted Evans, who owns the car parks concerned, said he "absolutely refutes" that any vehicles were wrongly clamped.

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