Drivers pay out €4m in city clamping fees
PARKED: 52,749 cars caught out last year
CLAMPERS have raked in more than €4m from city motorists in the past year.
Dublin City Council revealed that a total of 52,749 vehicles were clamped for illegal parking during 2011.
The figure for clamping release fees is more than the income DCC obtained from legally parked cars.
A council representative said that €4.123m was collected by clampers while pay-and-display charges only resulted in €3.951m for the city coffers.
The main clamping blackspots were Noel Purcell Walk in Rathmines, Shelbourne Road in Dublin 4, Jervis Street, Ranelagh and Wellington Quay.
The council introduced an initiative to cut the price of parking by half in the city centre in a bid to encourage shoppers. And the new Parking Tag scheme has been hugely popular with commuters travelling into the city.
"The average weekly number of vehicles parking with Parking Tag before the introduction of the half-price parking offer was 17,500. It has been 21,000 since it was introduced," a DCC spokesman confirmed.
Earlier this year, Cork City Council revealed plans to disband the clamping and become a clamp-free zone.
The lapsed contract will save the local authority an estimated €150,000 but will result in the loss of 12 jobs.
The decision came after 15 months of negotiations between council officials and city councillors, who made repeated representations following particularly severe cases of clamping.
The council is looking to rely on traffic wardens issuing parking fines to ensure city streets remain unobstructed.
However, Dublin City Council is not going to be following in their southern city counterparts.
"A new contract with DSPS recently commenced following tender. This contract is for five years so there are no plans to discontinue it," a DCC spokesperson told the Herald.
The Cork City Council's contract with private clamping company Apcoa expires on January 4.