MOTORISTS have forked out more than €2m to Dublin City Council car clampers, as almost 30,000 cars were hit in the first half of this year.
According to new figures 29,474 cars were clamped on the streets of capital between January and June of this year, earning the council €2,320,560.
Statistics released to the Herald this week reveal that Dominick Street Lower is the most clamped area in Dublin this year.
A total of 469 cars were clamped there, while Jervis Street was the next most frequently hit spot with 450 motorists served fines.
Cars clamped on Shelbourne Road amounted to 412, while in Ranelagh 345 were clamped, and 328 cars were clamped on Noel Purcell Walk.
Burgh Quay, Clarendon Street, South Circular Road, North Great George’s Street, and Ormond Quay Upper were also popular clamping spots.
Dublin city councillors have described city clampers as over zealous and have asked for a review of the clamping release fees.
Cllr Paddy McCartan said: “There’s no doubt that in certain areas the clampers are busy.
“My concern is that they do target specific areas and they seem to be lying around in wait for individuals and ready to pounce on them.
“It’s a very contentious issue. In the Rathgar area, on Saturdays when there’s no interference with traffic when cars are parked, they seem to be ready to pounce.”
Cllr Christy Burke said a grading system should be introduced in the city to scale the cost of clamping fines.
“I do think they’re like waiters in some restaurants – as soon as you’re finished your plate it’s whipped away from you. And clampers are waiting for you to park your car.
“Parking illegally is an issue. But in these difficult times, clamping fees should be reduced. While the clampers are doing their job and we all respect that, it can be excessive and the fees need to be lowered.
“I’ve had cases where people have been parked outside a doctor’s or they’ve had to rush into an apartment complex to get elderly residents, and they come out and they see they’ve been clamped. There has to be give and take here.
“I think the clamping fees should be scaled. If a person is clamped at 3pm and they’re not back by 4pm then fair enough.
“But if they’re back three minutes later and genuinely delayed then it should only be lower.”
A spokesperson from Dublin City Council said: “The monies received from clamp release fees are used to partially offset the cost of parking enforcement. Parking enforcement costs more than what is received in clamping fees.”
Cllr Emer Costello said residents have complained that clampers can be “over zealous.”
“Clamping does its function and it is certainly necessary. But the objective was never that it would be a money making thing for the council. It was to ensure proper parking standards.
“We’ve made the point to the city manager that it’s important that clampers are respectful.
“A few people have said they were back to their car within eight or nine minutes and they were clamped.
“They felt the clampers were waiting around the corner.”