A FIRM in Salisbury has been accused of clamping cars outside the sorting office in Fisherton Street without a valid contract - and charging exorbitant fees to release vehicles.

Spire Security Ltd has been operating in a private car park on Network Rail land, which is only supposed to be used by members of the Railway Social Club, and charging fees of £175 to release unauthorised vehicles.

Spire Security director, Anthony Brindley, has claimed he does have a contract to police the car park - but Network Rail said an old contract was terminated and they cannot find evidence of anything current.

The rail company asked Mr Brindley to provide such evidence in December, but he has so far failed to do so and continued clamping cars parked on the land.

Network Rail spokesman Mavis Choong said: “We are aware of Mr Brindley’s activity, and we have made a number of attempts to tell him to stop doing that and to prove he has a contract which he, obviously, does not.

“We have requested he cease activity and served him notice to do so, and we are looking into taking legal action and working with British Transport Police to monitor the situation.”

John Ellis, spokesman for the Association of Council Taxpayers, is in contact with Network Rail and their leasing arm, Spacia, about the situation and has been attempting to resolve it since April last year.

He urged members of the public not to park in the area as it is private land and there are signs warning drivers of this.

There are spaces available on the other side of the road for users of the sorting office.

“Anyone going past those signs, which are quite clear and quite distinct, is taking a risk,” he said.

“But they should not be clamped because my information from Network Rail was that they had given Mr Brindley 60 days in which to produce documentary evidence he had a contract with anyone - and he failed to do so.

“Some people are being clamped within two minutes - it seems they are watching drivers. Elderly people, some on sticks and barely able to walk the distance, are clamped before they get into the sorting office. No one is given any leeway.”