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New parking blackspot emerges in Dublin during 2020 as clamping revenue takes €1m pandemic hit

Clarendon Street saw the highest number of vehicles clamped during 2020.

Image: Dublin City Council

THE NUMBER OF vehicles clamped in Dublin city fell by almost a quarter in 2020, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic coinciding with a sharp drop in clamping fees.

Figures provided by Dublin City Council that 35,594 vehicles were clamped for illegal parking last year – down from 45,958 in 2019.

Clamping fees imposed on drivers fell significantly in March, April and May compared with the previous year, as shops shuttered and the majority of city centre office workers worked from home during the country’s first lockdown.

Just 4,396 tickets were issued by DCC in March, April and May 2020 – over half of them in March alone, with the first lockdown coming almost two working weeks into the month – down from the 12,751 tickets issued during the same months in 2019.

Although more people were clamped in June, July and August, when 8,382 tickets were issued as the economy re-opened, that figure was significantly lower than the 12,924 tickets issued during the same months the previous year.

The overall drop in the number of people clamped last year meant the council’s revenue from clamping fell by almost €1 million year-on-year.

Fines totalling €3,314,000 were collected from clamping in 2019, but this fell to €2,412,960 in 2020.

There was also changes in the locations where people were clamped in the city, with new parking blackspots emerging last year.  

Clarendon Street in the city centre saw the highest number of vehicles clamped during 2020, with 809 found illegally parked over the course of the year.

The street, close to Grafton Street and in the centre of one of the city’s main shopping areas, made the list despite not being in the top 20 locations during 2019.

Mespil Road along the Grand Canal in Donnybrook, which was previously the location where most vehicles were clamped in the city, also saw a sharp decrease in parking enforcements last year, down from 911 in 2019 to 345 in 2020.

The top 20 locations for clamping vehicles in Dublin city during 2020 were:

1. Clarendon Street, Dublin 2 – 809

2. Capel Street, Dublin 1 – 416

3. Ranelagh, Dublin 6 – 398

4. South Circular Road – 389

5. Chelmsford Road, Dublin 6 – 378

6. Mespil Road, Dublin 4 – 345

7. Merrion Square North, Dublin 2 – 325

8. Parnell Street, Dublin 1 – 318

9. Waterloo Road, Dublin 4 – 308

10. South William Street, Dublin 2 – 281

11. Commons Street, Dublin 1 – 274

12. Merrion Square West, Dublin 2 – 265

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13. Charlemont Street, Dublin 2 – 225

14. Gardiner Street Lower, Dublin 1 – 216

15. Rialto Street, Dublin 8 – 215

16. Swifts Row, Dublin 1 – 203

17. Eccles Street, Dublin 7 – 203

18. North Lotts, Dublin 1 – 193

19. Fitzwilliam Square North, Dublin 2 – 193

20. Parnell Square North, Dublin 1 – 190

The most common reason why all vehicles were clamped in 2020 was a failure to pay for the use of a parking bay, followed by having no valid parking and parking, then for stopping a vehicle on a clearway.

Thousands of motorists were also clamped for parking on a footpath (1,925 vehicles) or in a bus lane (1,187 vehicles).

However, just 106 drivers were clamped for parking in a cycle lane, a drop from 237 the previous year.

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