Bashford Antiques admits owning wheel-clamping company

  • 06/09/2016
Bashford Antiques (Bashford Antiques/Facebook)
Bashford Antiques (Bashford Antiques/Facebook)

In another twist in the Bashford Antiques saga, the company accused of running a parking infringement racket has admitted owning the wheel-clamping company used to target drivers.

Bashford Antiques, in the upmarket Auckland suburb of Ponsonby, came under fire after a Story investigation on vehicles using their parking spaces being towed or clamped.

One driver saw there was no sign and parked there, only to return later to find a business card attached to her windscreen telling her she had been clamped.

The man who clamped her car approached her saying it would be $220 and would only accept cash.

The clamper said he worked for Premiere Clamping Services - but when Story investigated, there was no company registered with that name and they were unable to get hold of anyone using the phone number on the clamping sign.

Bashford Antiques' owner denied any link between her business and the operator of the clamping service.

However, they have now changed their story.

"The wheel clamping of motor vehicles unlawfully parked on our business and residential premises, located at 24 Williamson Avenue, is carried out by 'Premier Parking Services', a 'trading as' name of Bashford Antiques Ltd," Jillian Bashford-Evers said in a written statement.

"Premier Parking Services is fully owned and operated by Bashford Antiques Ltd."

Down the road, the owner of an Italian restaurant, Tito Cucciniello, says he has lost count of the number of his customers that have been clamped.

"I think 30 to 40 cars. They just come out for a dinner and after the bill they have to also pay $220 more to free their car," says Mr Cucciniello.

Bashford Antiques has defended its policy as "near 100 percent successful" - and say offending drivers are to blame.

"Usually, when an attempt to tow the offending vehicles is undertaken, an occupant of the offending vehicle invariably runs a short distance down the road from a neighbouring business and enters the offending vehicle, thereby preventing the vehicle being towed," Ms Bashford-Evers says.

"This is the fundamental reason Bashford's has been compelled to use wheel clamping."

And they're unrepentant over the anguish their policy has caused.

"None of you have ever been customers of our business and fit the profile of our law abiding elite customer base. If you park at Bashford's again unlawfully you will be clamped and towed again."