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Drivers fork out €13m to get their cars de-clamped

MOTORISTS have spent €13.5m in just three years having their cars de-clamped in the capital, new figures have revealed.

Dublin City Council has released details of the top ten clamping hot-spots where illegally parked vehicles have been nabbed, with the western side of Merrion Square, opposite Leinster House and the National Gallery, coming out on top.

Other streets with heavy clamping activity included Mespil Road, along the Grand Canal and Pearse Street.

Overall the local authority has made €86m between revenue raised from paid on-street parking and clamping releases between 2011 and 2013.

Last year, the cost to motorists for getting their car released came to €4.32m with 56,285 vehicles being clamped.

Dublin City Council clamps cars if a vehicle is illegally parked on double yellow lines, if it is causing a hazard or obstruction, or with pay and display charges are not paid.

The driver must call Dublin Street Parking Services to have their car released and are charged €80 each time, which translates to more than 168,000 instances of motorists being clamped in the past three years.

The city authority is the only council in the country that has illegally parked vehicles clamped.

Business representative Tara Buckley, director general of the Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association, said that the threat of clamping is deterring people from coming into the city to shop.


She said that her members view clamping as "an added frustration for people driving cars".

"We believe there needs to be a traffic management system. We don't want somebody coming in hogging a space for the whole day."

However, Ms Buckley added: "Probably there's easier ways of doing it and that the fines system and pursuing the fines should work rather than having clamps."