19/12/2011 Inside Out England


19/12/2011

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could help save lives. The lorries hit the cars in front of us and we

:00:16.:00:26.

could hear banging from behind as well. It was hell. It was just the

:00:26.:00:30.

worst noise running through your head, these screams of people and

:00:30.:00:34.

not knowing what to do first. Terrible memories, never to be

:00:34.:00:40.

forgotten. But a question mark hangs over this accident. Witnesses

:00:40.:00:42.

reported a catastrophic loss of visibility. What caused it? Was it,

:00:42.:00:47.

as police have suggested, smoke from fireworks? Or something long

:00:47.:00:57.
:00:57.:00:59.

recognised to be a danger at this very spot? Tonight we can reveal

:00:59.:01:05.

this stretch is known by the authorities to be a fog prone

:01:05.:01:13.

stretch of motorway. Consultants have recommended upgrading the fog

:01:13.:01:20.

warning system, a recommendation on which there are no plans to act.

:01:20.:01:23.

Police have said a fireworks display held at a rugby club near

:01:23.:01:26.

the accident scene is their main line of inquiry, but we've learned

:01:26.:01:32.

they've also consulted the Met Office over the weather that night.

:01:32.:01:34.

Whatever caused the visibility problems, signs which could have

:01:34.:01:38.

warned of it weren't activated. So motorists had no idea of the danger

:01:38.:01:48.
:01:48.:01:48.

that lay ahead. We pulled on to beat M 5 and we were getting up to

:01:48.:01:54.

speed behind the Ice land truck in the middle lane, when we came into

:01:54.:02:04.
:02:04.:02:09.

a wall of very sudden thick fog. was like somebody had thrown a

:02:09.:02:13.

towel over the front of the windscreen. When that was gone, I

:02:13.:02:18.

could see the truck again but it was stationary. I stood on the

:02:18.:02:24.

brakes. At I thought we would not be able to stop. But we did, with

:02:24.:02:28.

about 10 feet to spare, from my memory. Based on pictures taken

:02:28.:02:31.

after the accident, we've tried to indicate what happened in the

:02:31.:02:34.

aftermath. The vehicles represented may not be exactly where they ended

:02:34.:02:37.

up immediately after the crash. The Nenos were in the very first phase

:02:37.:02:46.

of the collision, and Ciara was one of the first to dial 999. I told

:02:46.:02:51.

them we need ambulance, fire brigade and police. I said this is

:02:51.:02:56.

not just the small crash, it is many crashes and I can see fire.

:02:57.:02:59.

Then came the second phase of the crash, a lorry jack-knifed behind

:03:00.:03:05.

them, protecting the couple from impact. I said I am not sitting

:03:05.:03:10.

here any longer. I have got to go out and see what I can do. When I

:03:10.:03:15.

stepped up to the car, it was like stepping on to a movie set. Roger

:03:15.:03:19.

saw two men trapped in the car directly in front of him. He

:03:19.:03:26.

borrowed a tyre lever from a truck driver. I ran back and told the guy

:03:26.:03:33.

in the seat to turn away and I smashed the window. He reached out

:03:33.:03:41.

and I pulled him out. The chap on the other side was very dazed, in a

:03:41.:03:47.

slightly worse way. We said you orange and is gone, your car is

:03:47.:03:52.

smoking, you need to get out. We pulled him out. Tom Hamill, his

:03:52.:03:55.

girlfriend Katharine, and his dad had pulled up behind the jack-

:03:55.:03:57.

knifed lorry. They too were remarkably lucky not to have been

:03:57.:04:07.
:04:07.:04:07.

hit. I sat there and Thomas was like "we are going to get hit,

:04:07.:04:16.

brace yourself" and I saw to the left cars crashing. Someone shouted,

:04:16.:04:22.

"please, take my baby. My husband is trapped in the car, take my

:04:22.:04:30.

baby". I was standing in the central reservation as more cars

:04:30.:04:36.

were crashing into the back. On the other side of the now blazing lorry,

:04:36.:04:44.

Roger Neno followed a young woman's cries for help. Ghurka was pinned

:04:44.:04:49.

under the lorry, and I am thinking that fired his gun to spread

:04:49.:04:53.

underneath this lorry and it won't take very long, the way it is

:04:53.:05:00.

burning. I told her to move back, and at the 4th attempt the window

:05:00.:05:09.

smashed. Then I pulled her out. As I was doing this, I saw a lady that

:05:10.:05:18.

was... A lady that was pinned by her legs under the back wheel of

:05:18.:05:27.

that car underneath the lorry. She was screaming, "help, get me out"

:05:27.:05:32.

Obviously fearful she was going to lie there and burnt as well. With

:05:32.:05:35.

no chance of releasing her, Roger ran for help, returning with an

:05:35.:05:40.

off-duty doctor and one of the fire crews which were now arriving.

:05:40.:05:45.

could see Roger going towards the car, and of course there was this

:05:45.:05:49.

huge fireball behind. It just exploded and I screamed at him to

:05:49.:05:53.

get out. I thought everything was going to go up. Despite the

:05:53.:05:56.

fireball, the woman was saved. Roger and Ciara spent hours at the

:05:56.:06:00.

scene, helping with the rescue effort. The biggest accident

:06:00.:06:06.

investigation ever mounted by Avon and Somerset police is now underway.

:06:06.:06:08.

But what's already emerged is that the visibility warning system on

:06:08.:06:14.

the M5 is outdated. The signs have to be activated by highways

:06:14.:06:17.

authority control room staff and the agency says that it didn't get

:06:17.:06:20.

any reports of fog at the time of the accident, so it didn't turn the

:06:21.:06:30.
:06:31.:06:31.

signs on. Elsewhere the authorities don't rely on human intervention.

:06:31.:06:33.

In Holland there are roadside detectors that automatically turn

:06:33.:06:41.

on warning signs even if visibility suddenly deteriorates. I travelled

:06:41.:06:44.

to meet Hans Remain, who helped to install the Dutch system, after a

:06:44.:06:54.
:06:54.:06:57.

fatal pile-up there 20 years ago. In 1990, there was a very severe

:06:57.:07:03.

accident during a dense fog. There were many deaths and many

:07:04.:07:13.
:07:14.:07:15.

casualties. This cost the -- caused the Ministry of Transport to

:07:15.:07:24.

install a fog warning system. Those thick patches of fog are so

:07:24.:07:28.

unexpected you can't give this task to a human being, as far as we

:07:28.:07:33.

think. In the UK such a system is on the M25, on some motorways in

:07:33.:07:41.

the North West, and only a handful of other locations. We obtained

:07:41.:07:44.

from the Highways Agency a consultant report from last year

:07:44.:07:52.

which identified the M5 accident spot as at high risk from fog and

:07:52.:07:57.

recommended a system. We asked the agency if it had any plans to do so,

:07:57.:08:01.

it said it didn't and would only look at safety improvements once

:08:01.:08:04.

the result of the police investigation were known. The cost

:08:04.:08:06.

of installing the visibility sensors in the south west,

:08:07.:08:09.

according to the report, is �3 million. Some of those involved in

:08:10.:08:19.

that terrible accident want action now. There is a big fog danger

:08:19.:08:28.

along the whole of the M 5. Any warning would be beneficial, even

:08:28.:08:33.

10 mph would have made some of those fatal crashes perhaps near

:08:33.:08:36.

fatal and given people half a chance. That would be a phenomenal

:08:36.:08:42.

idea, and why not? If that is something that can be provided,

:08:42.:08:47.

then yes, definitely. And the police investigation into the crash

:08:48.:08:55.

Coming up next: We go undercover to find out just how one car clamper

:08:55.:09:04.

is making thousands. How do you come up with your fees? You need to

:09:04.:09:10.

speak to the government about that. Bin it! What it's really costing to

:09:10.:09:17.

clean up our mess. One of the things I say to people is next time

:09:17.:09:21.

you see somebody dropping a crisp packet on the floor, imagine they

:09:21.:09:26.

are dropping your �5 note because you are paying for them to pick it

:09:26.:09:30.

The AA estimates almost 800,000 vehicles are clamped every year,

:09:30.:09:34.

costing motorists around �90 million. A fair cop? Well maybe not.

:09:34.:09:36.

The clampers have caught the Government's attention, but, as Jon

:09:36.:09:39.

Cuthill's been finding out in Southampton, at the moment it's

:09:39.:09:46.

still a nice little earner for some people.

:09:46.:09:50.

Stop at any private car park these days and you may well find a sign

:09:50.:09:53.

warning that you could be clamped. But the practices behind some of

:09:53.:09:59.

the companies have led to the Government's own clampdown. Here in

:09:59.:10:02.

Hampshire one firm under the spotlight is White's Car Park

:10:02.:10:07.

Solutions. Its boss Jason White has certainly hit the headlines. In the

:10:07.:10:13.

past, angry motorists have even beaten him up. Most recently in

:10:13.:10:16.

Winchester he was threatened with a meat cleaver. So what is it that

:10:16.:10:23.

makes them so angry? After all, he's only doing his job. All these

:10:23.:10:26.

motorists have been clamped by Mr White's company and what makes

:10:26.:10:29.

their blood boil is how the costs can rack up, especially if you are

:10:29.:10:39.
:10:39.:10:49.

towed away. You are going to have to pay me �428. �468 in total.

:10:49.:10:53.

thought we'd have a look at the way he operates. We did ask Mr White if

:10:53.:10:56.

we could come out clamping with him, but he declined, so I'm going to go

:10:56.:10:59.

undercover. Using possibly one of the worst disguises ever seen on

:10:59.:11:09.
:11:09.:11:10.

TV... Roller skating accident. Nasty. It appears, young or old,

:11:10.:11:18.

crutches or no crutches, anyone's fair game. It is an area I have

:11:18.:11:24.

part in lots of times before. I visit a friend on not road and I

:11:24.:11:28.

had no idea it had been made a prohibited area so I didn't look

:11:28.:11:35.

for any signs. Then when I came back later, the car had gone. Of

:11:35.:11:39.

course I thought it had been stolen. 90 year old Dennis Wilson wasn't

:11:39.:11:42.

displaying his disability badge when he parked on a site patrolled

:11:42.:11:46.

by Whites. His car was seized, and because it was a Friday they said

:11:46.:11:56.
:11:56.:11:56.

he couldn't collect it till after the weekend. And the total bill?

:11:56.:12:05.

the Monday it was �300 for towing away, 184 the clamp. Storage at �42,

:12:05.:12:09.

then on top of that you are virtually obliged to pay by credit

:12:09.:12:16.

card because not many people can lay their hands on �800 on the spot.

:12:16.:12:24.

They charged 5% of the total. So the total I paid was �680.40.

:12:24.:12:31.

is a tidy sum. Now we're on our way to a car park to get clamped. So

:12:31.:12:34.

what are the rules on this business? There's never a car

:12:34.:12:37.

parking expert when you need one. Here's one! What Patrick Troy

:12:37.:12:41.

doesn't know about parking isn't worth knowing. Clamping on private

:12:41.:12:49.

Clamping on private land is an unregulated industry. We produce

:12:49.:12:53.

guidelines which we expect clamping companies to sign up to. But it is

:12:53.:12:56.

voluntary and the company you are investigating isn't a member. They

:12:56.:12:59.

are therefore not controlled. So Whites, by not signing up, don't

:12:59.:13:03.

have to keep to the guidelines. OK, so what are their rules? Let's park

:13:03.:13:07.

somewhere we shouldn't. A private staff car park in Eastleigh in

:13:07.:13:11.

Hampshire. Sorry, Blockbuster. While my pretend sister and I go

:13:11.:13:19.

off shopping, this happens. I have been clamped? You're joking.

:13:19.:13:27.

How much will it cost? It will cost 180. 180 quid? If we can't get the

:13:27.:13:35.

money... You will get it code. will cost more. �120 on that.

:13:35.:13:39.

�180 for the clamp release and on top of that, a possible �300 tow-

:13:39.:13:44.

away fee. It seems there's nothing I can do it about it. It wasn't

:13:44.:13:49.

reasonable and, by any definition, that was excessive. What we say in

:13:49.:13:53.

our code is that you either have a clamp release fee or you have a

:13:53.:14:02.

tow-away fee. You can't charge both. There should be one charge. It is

:14:02.:14:05.

meant to be a deterrent. It shouldn't be excessive and it

:14:05.:14:08.

shouldn't be unreasonable. After a fake trip to the cash point,

:14:08.:14:12.

I pretend I can't get the �180. The car therefore will be taken to the

:14:12.:14:15.

compound just a few minutes' away, but I'm told I can't collect my car.

:14:15.:14:18.

They'll have to deliver it to me. And guess what? That's another 50

:14:18.:14:24.

quid. He'll charge for delivery. Well, I don't want him to deliver.

:14:24.:14:29.

The overnight the I would get charged and on top of that, he has

:14:29.:14:36.

to deliberate. You are just making it up.

:14:36.:14:38.

Meanwhile, the boss himself Jason White has arrived and is preparing

:14:38.:14:46.

to take my wheels away. And it's all going to cost me �614.

:14:47.:14:54.

Argue Mr White? Yes. The -- why you. How can you justify �600? It

:14:54.:14:57.

doesn't cost you �600 to run a tow truck. The Government set the

:14:57.:14:59.

guidelines. The Government doesn't say �600. That is rubbish.

:14:59.:15:02.

White's signs do list all the charges he's come up with, so he

:15:02.:15:06.

could say we've all been warned. But there's a lot of charges, and a

:15:06.:15:16.
:15:16.:15:16.

lot of small print. Do you not have to give me paperwork at all? You

:15:16.:15:22.

can't just take my car. The next day, at a time decided by

:15:22.:15:25.

Whites Car Park solutions, I'm told to return to Blockbuster car park.

:15:25.:15:30.

Our man wants his cash. But there's no sign of my car. You've got to

:15:30.:15:35.

pay me now, sign a receipt and then he'll bring it back. Until you hand

:15:35.:15:45.
:15:45.:15:49.

it over to me, that vehicle's not This is a joke. You guys get

:15:49.:15:54.

funnier every time. So I hand over the 600 quid. And Mr White rings to

:15:54.:16:01.

check the transaction is complete. All done, waiting for you. While he

:16:01.:16:07.

writes the recede, it all starts to come back. -- receipt. This clamper

:16:07.:16:17.
:16:17.:16:39.

Heart-to-heart over, it's back to business. Cue Mr White and my car.

:16:40.:16:47.

Now the tiny issue of getting my car off his truck.

:16:47.:16:53.

I can't, I've got to wait for my sister.

:16:53.:16:59.

In the end, we push it off. How do you come up with your fees?

:16:59.:17:09.
:17:09.:17:20.

You have to speak to the Government So if I wanted to complain?

:17:20.:17:23.

In fact, it's the SIA, the Security Industry Authority, who issue

:17:23.:17:25.

clampers like Mr White with their licences, but they won't

:17:25.:17:29.

investigate individual complaints. And as for Mr White's claim that

:17:29.:17:32.

the Government authorises the fees, that's rubbish. In fact, next year

:17:32.:17:35.

there's expected to be a new law that bans clamping on private land

:17:35.:17:37.

all together. We did ask Mr White for an

:17:37.:17:41.

interview, but he didn't take us up on our offer. So for now he's at

:17:41.:17:44.

liberty to carry on clamping and charging fees that the British

:17:44.:17:51.

Parking Association says This isn't about extortion. This is

:17:51.:17:54.

about managing private land and clamping is simply a means of

:17:54.:17:58.

managing private land. It shouldn't be seen as a way of making lots of

:17:58.:18:01.

money out of people or of extorting money out of people.

:18:01.:18:05.

Seven months after he was clamped, World War II veteran Mr Wilson is

:18:05.:18:15.
:18:15.:18:16.

still fuming. The man is absolutely beneath contempt. A lot of my

:18:16.:18:19.

friends were killed fighting for the freedom that Jason White uses -

:18:19.:18:29.
:18:29.:18:31.

or misuses - to inflict on his Our bill for cleaning up our litter

:18:31.:18:35.

is reportedly a staggering �885 million across England. In these

:18:35.:18:38.

cash-strapped days, that's money councils can ill afford. So I've

:18:38.:18:41.

been following a litter trail to find out if any northern town has

:18:41.:18:49.

the answer. Three Northern towns trying to

:18:49.:18:54.

become cities. Trying to deal with one problem. It's like a bomb's

:18:54.:19:01.

gone off, really, sometimes. Everything is on the floor, chips,

:19:01.:19:09.

Cygnus, debris, Greece. Litter is a big issue in this country. You

:19:09.:19:16.

wouldn't throw it in your own house. In Doncaster, Bolton and

:19:16.:19:18.

Middlesbrough, councils have told us picking up litter is simply a

:19:18.:19:22.

waste of money. It's coming out of your pocket. And if you don't think

:19:22.:19:28.

it is a problem, take another look. Every place has a different tactic.

:19:28.:19:33.

In Doncaster, they'll hunt you down. Then nab you. I am part of the

:19:33.:19:36.

council's enforcement team, and I speak to you about your cigarette

:19:36.:19:42.

ends? This is possibly the toughest council in England when it comes to

:19:42.:19:50.

litter enforcement. If you drop litter, you can get fined �75.

:19:50.:19:52.

Paul Scarborough and his colleagues actually have targets for the

:19:52.:19:55.

amount of fines they hand out, because they say being all nicey

:19:55.:20:01.

nicey just doesn't wash. Really, we have got to be a situation where we

:20:01.:20:06.

have got to have teeth. The �75 is the teeth.

:20:06.:20:09.

And they do it because they'd rather not spend money from

:20:09.:20:15.

increasingly stretched budgets on picking up our rubbish.

:20:15.:20:18.

In England alone, local authorities spend an average of �885 million on

:20:18.:20:20.

street cleansing and that's obviously money that could be much

:20:20.:20:26.

better spent on other things. Doncaster would have �3 million

:20:26.:20:29.

every year to spend on other things. Across the Pennines, in Bolton,

:20:29.:20:33.

litter costs �2.8 million. In Middlesbrough, they don't know the

:20:33.:20:37.

exact cost, but the council takes a totally different tack.

:20:37.:20:44.

They focus much more on changing people's behaviour. And if that

:20:44.:20:48.

doesn't work, they tell you off. Would the man in the black jacket

:20:48.:20:52.

and the grey trousers pick up your litter?

:20:52.:20:56.

Five years ago, talking cameras were brought in. I do think it

:20:56.:21:01.

works. We do have 21 cameras in the town. That covers a lot of ground

:21:02.:21:06.

and a lot of people pick up the litter. Have you ever seen it work?

:21:06.:21:11.

We have got some footage of a lady, who, on a night out has ripped up a

:21:12.:21:15.

yellow Pages book and the talking camera that had to pick up the

:21:15.:21:23.

litter and she picked it up and that every piece in the bin.

:21:24.:21:26.

In Doncaster, they find fear works better. If they're caught, they

:21:26.:21:36.
:21:36.:21:39.

will be fined. And therefore we hope it's in the back of people's

:21:39.:21:42.

minds that it might be them that gets caught next. And therefore we

:21:42.:21:44.

think that's why zero tolerance works.

:21:44.:21:47.

But not with everyone. It is just the Government way of making easy

:21:47.:21:51.

money. They are getting paid for people's mistakes, which is how

:21:51.:21:54.

government works. In Doncaster last year, they raised

:21:54.:21:57.

a cool �120,000 in fines. Compared to �6,000 in Bolton. And

:21:57.:22:03.

Middlesbrough? Just �250. I think what we've got is a measure of

:22:04.:22:07.

success because we don't need to fine people. So you don't worry

:22:08.:22:11.

that Doncaster's bringing in all this money and Middlesbrough's not?

:22:11.:22:16.

His Doncaster cleaner than Middlesbrough?

:22:16.:22:19.

Well, no. But litter is such a tricky issue, even campaign groups

:22:19.:22:23.

are arguing about it. It's a British institution. Keep

:22:23.:22:28.

Britain Tidy, based in Wigan, has been around for 50 years. But now a

:22:28.:22:31.

new band of litter activists say continuing to fund it is throwing

:22:31.:22:35.

taxpayers' money in the bin. Their campaigning just hasn't worked and

:22:35.:22:38.

if you asked me to provide evidence of that, well, there are streets

:22:38.:22:41.

like this all over England which unfortunately provide the results

:22:41.:22:43.

and the evidence. John Read launched Clean Up Britain

:22:43.:22:47.

this year with the help of celebrities.

:22:47.:22:50.

Litter is a big issue in this country, it's grown 500% in 20

:22:50.:22:57.

years. You wouldn't throw litter in your own house. It is a group of

:22:57.:23:00.

private individuals who have got together with a range of

:23:00.:23:05.

professional skills to have come together to run this campaign.

:23:05.:23:08.

And by saying Keep Britain Tidy is failing, they've caused quite a

:23:08.:23:13.

stir. It is disappointing, we try and campaign and good things in the

:23:13.:23:16.

media so it does seem daft to Trust -- set up something against us, but

:23:16.:23:24.

that is what they have chosen But Keep Britain Tidy's campaigns,

:23:24.:23:27.

like this, are part-funded by the taxpayer. And on top of that, they

:23:27.:23:29.

ask councils in towns like Doncaster for even more money.

:23:29.:23:32.

Can we afford it? In Bolton, they're already feeling the pinch.

:23:32.:23:37.

Unfortunately, with the cutbacks and everything, it has deteriorated.

:23:37.:23:40.

Because of the workforce, unfortunately. We are actually

:23:40.:23:44.

trying to make sure that people don't drop litter in the first

:23:44.:23:50.

place. It is a mind to change that we need. When we have it -- areas

:23:50.:23:52.

that were exceedingly poor, especially in the North of England,

:23:52.:23:56.

people always used to go out and clean the street in front of their

:23:56.:24:01.

houses. It didn't stop that pride in where they lived. Where did that

:24:01.:24:11.
:24:11.:24:15.

pride go? Here is one random search of a

:24:15.:24:18.

rural road near Middlesbrough. Look closer. And even if you think

:24:18.:24:21.

littering is wrong, there you intervene?

:24:21.:24:26.

The thing is, if we see somebody Douet, what are we supposed to do?

:24:26.:24:31.

Does it take guts to throw -- tell someone offer for littering.

:24:31.:24:35.

You dropped some that are just there. That cigarette packet.

:24:35.:24:44.

yes. Why did you do it? I don't know. By you go into stop it?

:24:44.:24:51.

did you put it down? -- Are you going to stop it. Sorry. I know you

:24:51.:24:58.

are sorry. Let's find a been, it is just there. I'm sorry. It is

:24:58.:25:04.

embarrassing, isn't it? Most people, when you tell them

:25:04.:25:07.

about it, they know they have done wrong and they put it right, but

:25:07.:25:15.

they have done it, haven't they? It councils didn't pick up litter,

:25:15.:25:19.

who would? Middlesbrough and Bolton councils have accepted our

:25:19.:25:22.

challenge not to clean the street to see what would happen. The

:25:22.:25:27.

question is, do we really want to keep Britain tidy? Bolton agreed to

:25:27.:25:35.

leave 100m of a town centre street unclean for a day. And this is what

:25:35.:25:41.

we found. I am shocked and I think the

:25:41.:25:45.

majority of people who see that kind of letter will quite -- were

:25:45.:25:48.

quite shocked at what they saw, because that would normally have

:25:49.:25:53.

all been cleaned away in the early hours. We asked a local children to

:25:53.:26:01.

clean up the mess. But in Middlesbrough, it is going

:26:01.:26:05.

to be a much tougher job. The council that one mile of its

:26:05.:26:11.

busiest road unclean for a whole weekend. It is disgusting. Loads of

:26:11.:26:17.

plastic bags everywhere, crisp packets, cigarette packets. Maybe

:26:17.:26:21.

they should have come out at 8 o'clock in the morning. It is a bit

:26:21.:26:28.

late. Would you say to damages your business? Definitely. -- it damages.

:26:28.:26:34.

It is so dirty, every so often, we watch it ourselves. Cleaning our

:26:34.:26:38.

own bit of the street might not be at a bad idea with council budgets

:26:38.:26:46.

under pressure. -- a bad idea. And in this one

:26:46.:26:52.

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