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Clamping hotspots: New figures show the most clamped streets in Dublin

A lack of valid paid parking accounted for one third of all offences.

Car clamped on Dublin Quays.
Car clamped on Dublin Quays.
Image: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

ALMOST 130 MOTORISTS are having their vehicles clamped each day in Dublin City on average.

Figures provided by Dublin City Council show a total of 23,383 vehicles were clamped for illegal parking in the first six months of 2019 – a daily average of 129.

The number of clamping fees imposed on motorists is virtually unchanged over the same period last year, but is down 19% on the corresponding figures for 2017.

However, the latest figures indicate a reduction in illegal parking rates as the decrease in the number of vehicle clamped last year was partially linked to long periods of bad weather associated with Storm Emma in the first half of 2018.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said it believed the downward trend was linked to “greater education and compliance”.

Mespil Road remains the top blackspot for illegal parking in Dublin city with 416 vehicles clamped at the location between January and June.

The figures show that Ranelagh has emerged as a new location for large numbers of vehicles to be clamped – 320 in the first half of this year compared to just 35 over the same period in 2018.

Most of the offending vehicles were clamped for parking on a clearway.

Local Green Party councillor, Hazel Chu, welcomed the increased enforcement levels and stressed that there were enough parking spaces in the area to facilitate customers of businesses in Ranelagh.

“Parking in the clearway also affects the cycle lane which makes cycling more dangerous. At the same time, there needs to be clarity with signs to inform motorists when they are allowed to park on the main road through Ranelagh,” Chu said.

The top 10 locations for clamping vehicles in Dublin city from January to June 2019

1.       Mespil Road – 416

2.      Ranelagh – 320

3.      South Circular Road – 310

4.      Waterloo Road – 301

5.      Burlington Road – 208

6.      Merrion Square West – 194

7.      Ormond Quay Upper – 186

8.      Fitzwilliam Square North – 174

9.      Lower Gardiner Street – 171

10.   Merrion Square South – 168

The most common reason why all vehicles were clamped in the first half of 2019 was their failure to have valid paid parking which accounted for a third of all offences.

Almost 4,000 motorists had their vehicle clamped because the time on their parking fee had elapsed including a ten minute grace period.

Since 2017 motorists have been entitled to this grace period of ten minutes from the expiry of their parking ticket before their vehicle can be clamped.

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Almost 2,000 vehicles were clamped for parking on a clearway, while over 1,400 were detected parking on a footpath and a further 1,000 for parking a non-goods vehicle in a loading bay.

A total of 815 vehicles were clamped for parking in a bus lane and another 213 for parking in a disabled parking space without a valid permit. Another 39 vehicles were clamped for parking in spaces reserved for electric vehicles.

Despite a high-profile campaign by a number of cycling groups to highlight the extent of illegal parking on cycle lanes, the latest figures show that less than one vehicle is being clamped per day for such an offence.

In the first six months of the year, a total of 125 vehicles were clamped for parking on a cycle lane, although the figure is up on 49 for the same period in 2018.

The council spokesperson said there had been no change of policy in terms of targeting any particular form of parking infringement.

“Dublin City Council continues to enforce illegal parking throughout the city to ensure maximum use of spaces in the city,” she added.

Last year, the council had revenue of €27.9m from parking fees and a further €3.2m in clamp release fees.

The standard clamp release fee is €80. Vehicles which are not removed within 24 hours are towed away and impounded leaving their owners to face a release fee of €160 and a daily storage charge of €35 to have them returned.

It is estimated that approximately 0.2% of vehicles that park in Dublin City are clamped. Around 13 million parking tickets or payments are recorded each year.

Parking officials are now also statutorily obliged to remove clamps within two hours of a release fee being paid.

About the author:

Seán McCárthaigh

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