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DCC's deal for new clamping contractors includes €150 fine every time a driver successfully appeals

The council is seeking a “close” relationship with a new clamping contractor in a deal worth €45 million.

File photo
File photo
Image: Mark Stedman/Rollingnews.ie

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is looking for new clampers – and is inviting tenders for a contract with an estimated total value of €45 million.

The council is seeking a clamping contractor to carry out over 50,000 “successful clamps” each year.

Under the proposals, the clampers will have to pay the council a €150 penalty fee if a vehicle owner successfully appeals the decision to clamp them, as well as refunding them the money. That is an increase from the current fine of €100.

The council calls for a “balanced delivery” of service over five years, with a “close professional working relationship” between it and the contractor.

The successful contractor is required to strictly follow the rules of clamping set out by the council or face financial penalties.

It comes after a previous tender worth €35 million was granted to Park Rite in 2011.

‘Evenly distributed’ 

In the current tender, Dublin City Council sets out a number of essential requirements that the successful clamping contractor must meet.

This includes maintaining a “high level of compliance with on-street parking restrictions” and “minimising the net cost to DCC of providing the service”. 

“The council envisages that the annual number of clamps will be in the region of 55,000 to 57,000 per annum,” it said. 

On the need for a close relationship, the council said it is recognised that this is the only way in which the service can be delivered.

The clampers will need to provide routine information on how many calls it receives, its daily activity across the city, statistics on how many cars were parked correctly and legally, and how many clamps it administers.

The areas that the clampers will be required to cover include all the lands under the remit of the city council, broken down by areas such as the city centre, suburban villages, residential areas, bus corridors, cycle lanes and pay-and-display areas.

They will be required to work from 7am till midnight Monday to Friday, 8am to midnight on Saturday and from 10am to midnight on Sundays.

In terms of a “balanced delivery of service”, Dublin City Council said that care must be given to the number of vehicles clamped, the geographic coverage and the times of day it takes action.

The council said: “To avoid an imbalance of service delivery the contractor shall ensure that over the course of each calendar month: that the number of vehicles clamped for pay and display offences does not exceed 55% of the total vehicles clamped, that the percentage of night time (from 5pm onwards) clamps shall be no less than 20% and no more than 30% of vehicles clamped.”

It also requires half of on-street staff to be capable of operating relocation and removal vehicles, as well as asking the contractor to be flexible in how it approaches the job.

“For example, removals are increasingly difficult to manage, not least because of the volume of traffic on Dublin’s roads,” it said.

As a result, the emphasis has shifted towards relocating vehicles rather than taking them back to the pound.

This flexibility will also be required when working around events at Croke Park, the Aviva Stadium and the 3 Arena, the council noted.

Clamping down

In what actually needs to be done when clamping vehicles, the successful contractor will be responsible for the clamping, releasing the clamp immediately if certain criteria apply, dealing with the public, and taking payments for the clamp.

When a clamp is paid for, it must be released within two hours, with a set target of 85% released within one hour. 

If the clamp is not removed within this timeframe, the individual will be refunded the charge of removing the clamp, the council said.

When an appeal is granted due to the contractor failing to adhere to the appropriate rules and procedures, it will be required to pay the council €150 each time this happens.

While it is within the rights of clampers to relocate or remove a vehicle, it must not actually enter the vehicle.

It must also handle payment of the fees paid by drivers, and give it to the council.

When it comes to appeals, it set a target of a final decision being given within 21 days in 95% of cases.

According to documents released to TheJournal.ie  under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 earlier this year, 228 clamping appeals were made to the National Transport Authority in the first two months after a new law allowed for independent complaints to be made.

Under the new legislation, drivers can also make complaints to the NTA if they are dissatisfied with their treatment by a clamper.

A number of financial penalties can also be incurred, depending on what rules a contractor may break, according to the tender.

clamping tender

clamping tender 2

Dublin City Council would also transfer assets as part of its clamping contract, including €168,827 worth of vehicles, and over €110,000 worth of IT equipment.

The closing date for receipt of tenders is 8 October.

 With reporting from Christina Finn

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