Snow-trapped motorists who deserted cars face clamp fine
MOTORISTS who abandoned their cars in snow received a nasty surprise when they went to retrieve their vehicle -- a clamp and fine of €80.
Dublin City Council admitted yesterday that some unlucky motorists were forced to pay the fine to get their car back, but that a "common-sense" approach would be taken if they appealed the charge.
Parking by-laws were enforced during the cold spell, a spokesman said, and dangerously parked vehicles were removed.
Some motorists called the council to say they had to abandon their cars, and were told they would not be clamped. Those who didn't were fined.
"A number of motorists contacted the council informing us that they had to abandon their cars, particularly on December 1 and 2," a spokesman said.
"The council gave cover to these motorists in all genuine cases. Motorists who did not contact us and were clamped can enter the appeals process where a common-sense view will be taken."
The first appeal is made to the clamping company, Dublin Street Parking Services, which can decide to refund the money. If it refuses, a second appeal can be made to an independent appeals officer.
Drivers and pedestrians were yesterday again warned that although the thaw has set in, ice and snow remains on roads and footpaths and conditions are still dangerous.
The M4 between Mullingar and Longford, the N2 in Meath and Monaghan, and the M9 in Laois and Carlow were icy, and Balfe Road in Dublin was closed.
Rathdrum and Roundwood in Wicklow were particularly bad and the Wicklow Gap and Sally Gap remain impassable. In Wexford, the Gorey/Courtown Road was closed.
Kildare County Council has warned motorists to expect long delays on the M9 motorway from 8am today as ice- and snow-clearing operations take place. The north and southbound carriages will be affected at various times of the day between junction 4 (Castledermot) and junction 2 (Kilcullen).
Met Eireann said the thaw would continue over the coming days but that nights and early mornings would remain cold. Next week will be cold, but not as severe as the past two weeks.
Up to 8,000 homes and businesses were without power in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary yesterday after a fault on the line between Ardnacrusha and Birdhill. Regions without power included Nenagh, Killaloe, Ballina and Castleconnell. Services were restored in two hours.
Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann operated full services with some delays, while DART, Intercity and commuter trains ran but with some delays.
Water supply continues to be a problem, and pressure will be reduced at night in Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare until at least tomorrow but probably into Sunday. Demand continues to exceed supply.
"With the thaw over the next few days, further leaks will add to the challenge," a spokesman said. "We need to build up storage in preparation for January."
There were also water problems in Cavan, Laois, Galway, Meath, Sligo and Tipperary due to increased demand on the system, and burst pipes.
Water was restored in Galway city, which was affected since Monday.