herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Former mayor slams clamping firms after appeal over €90 fine is rejected

HE was once the Mayor of Dublin, but now that he's a plain ould citizen he has to endure the same problems as the rest of us.

Former lord mayor Dermot Lacey has slammed clamping firms after his appeal against a €90 parking penalty was rejected.

Mr Lacey returned from a meeting in Ballsbridge in Dublin 4 to find his car had been clamped.

He had parked on double yellow lines on Sweepstakes Road but the markings were obscured by muck deposited during the recent floods, Mr Lacey said.

He also insisted that there was not a single prominent sign to indicate he had driven on to a private road, which is an extension of the public thoroughfare.

"There were no signs indicating No Parking and there were no visible yellow lines," Mr Lacey said.

"On return at about 10pm [on December 19 last] I found my car clamped. Searching in the dark you could just make out blobs of yellow but no clear lines. There is no street lighting along that side of the road," he said.

Money

He added that he is entitled to his money back, which clamping company NCPS "very improperly" took from him.

"There was no indication that there was no parking allowed. It raises all sorts of issues about public and private properties. Leo Varadkar [Minister for Transport] recently made some comment about the need to control private parking companies -- it's an issue we have to start to question," Mr Lacey told the Herald.

The councillor paid €90 to have the clamp removed from his vehicle.

NCPS said, while it sympathised with the circumstances, Sweepstakes Road car park is private property and "we are contracted to enforce the parking regulations on this site".

"Part of our remit is to immobilise all vehicles that we find parked on double yellow lines," the company told Mr Lacey.

It said the vehicle was parked in contravention of the parking regulations. As a result, it was unable to grant the appeal, NCPS said.

The company was previously the subject of criticism for clamping the car belonging to an elderly amputee, even though there was a disabled permit on her car.

comurphy@herald.ie

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