Dublin's worst clamping spots revealed: Council make €4.2m from car owners

Over 56,000 vehicles were clamped on the city streets last year

Sean McCarthaigh

Dublin’s Merrion Square West has retained its status as the capital’s top clamping blackspot for catching motorists without valid parking tickets.

Motorists are more likely to have their vehicle clamped on Merrion Square West  than anywhere else in the city.

A total of 735 cars were clamped here last year – an increase of 38 on the same location in 2013.

When all four sides of the famous Georgian square are counted, a total of 1,769 vehicles were clamped last year with Merrion Square South also featuring in the top 20 of the city’s clamping blackspots. Mespil Road on the banks of the Grand Canal is the second favourite target of clampers followed by Upper Ormond Quay, Pearse Street and Waterloo Road.

New figures from Dublin City Council (DCC) show a total of 56,601 vehicles were clamped in the capital last year – up 0.5pc on the previous year.

Despite this, revenue from fees paid by the owners of clamped vehicles fell by 1.9pc to €4.24m.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said the decrease was explained by a variation in fees based on the length of time vehicles were impounded before they were retrieved by their owners.

Motorists face a €80 fee to have their clamped vehicle released, while the owners of cars which have been towed away and removed to the city pound face a minimum charge of €160 to reclaim their vehicle.

Income from paid parking tickets, however, rose by 4.1pc to €24.1m. Overall, revenue for DCC from paid parking and declamping fees remained relatively static at €28.34m.

The local authority’s parking appeals officer, William Keilthy, has recommended that the declamping fee should be increased by at least €50 to €130 as the current €80 fee has been unchanged since 1998.

An analysis of clamping data reveals motorists are most likely to have their vehicles clamped on a Thursday followed by Fridays and Tuesdays.

More vehicles in Dublin were clamped on a Saturday than on a Monday last year, while Sundays are traditionally the quietest day for clampers due to reduced parking restrictions.

The colder months of October, November and February saw the most number of clamps, while the least number of clamps occurred during December, April and August.

The busiest time of day for clampers is between 1-2pm and 8-9am, while the quietest period is 3-4pm.

However, around 10pc of all clamps are issued after 7pm with one unlucky motorist having his vehicle clamped on Camden Street at 4am for obstructing traffic.

Four streets which dropped out of the top 20 clamping blackspots included Lower Dominick Street, D’Olier Street, Townsend Street and South Great George’s Street.