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Thursday 29 September 2016

Revealed: Dublin's top 10 clamping hotspots

Two Dublin drivers clamped 54 times each in just 4 years

Laura Larkin

Published 28/06/2016 | 07:02

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Stock photo

Two drivers in the city were clamped 54 times each in just four years, leading to calls for an increase in release fees for repeat offenders.

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Figures seen by the Herald show two drivers topped the persistent offenders list by being clamped every three or four weeks for 48 months.

But they weren’t the only ones to consistently return to their car to find a clamp on the front wheel.

In 2015, operators acting on behalf of the council clamped 54,069 vehicles and many of those incidents were repeat offenders. More than 11,300 cars had been clamped between two and four times since 2012.

A further 1,953 people were clamped between five and 20 times in the same period.

Another 59 cars drew the attention of the clampers more than 20 times in the four-year period analysed.

Top 10 Dublin hotspots:

1. Ormond Quay Upper

2. Mespil Road

3. Burlington Road

4. Wolfe Tone Street

5. Waterloo Road

6. Merrion Square West

7. Molesworth Street

8. Gardiner Street Lower

9. Earlsfort Terrace

10. Circular Road South

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The number of repeat offenders has sparked renewed calls for the release fee of €80 to be hiked for repeat offenders. Fees are higher if a car has to be relocated or impounded.

The fees were set in 1998 and are less effective as a deterrent by about a quarter, according to the report due to be discussed tomorrow.

The report penned by the council’s parking appeals officer, William Kielthy, has suggested that a tiered system could be the answer to the thorny question of raising the release fees for clamped cars.

A fee of €160 for any driver who has been clamped more than three times in the previous 12 months has been suggested by the Dublin City Council’s parking officer as a possible option for a new tiered system.

The top 10 streets for clamping have also been included in the report, along with the number of times a car was clamped there.

More than half of those clamped last year were clamped because they failed to display a permit or register for parking tags.

Just under 3,000 people (5.5pc) of the total number of clamped drivers appealed the decision. Of these, about 30pc secured a refund and many of those were as a “gesture of goodwill”.

January was the month with the most incidents of clamping or towing in the city last year,  while December was the month with the lowest number. Last year brought in almost €4m for the council, but that was the lowest amount in five years.

Previous calls from officials to hike the release fee to €180 were met with strong opposition from elected representatives. Dublin Street Parking Services run the clamping services across the city but the money raised from release fees does not cover the €6.8m cost of running the service.

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