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parking woes Dublin's clamping blackspots revealed, and worst culprits are all on city's southside


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Vehicles clamped all along Grand Canal

Vehicles clamped all along Grand Canal

Vehicles clamped all along Grand Canal

Clamping in Dublin fell by half last year, but motorists on the southside were still the hardest hit.

Clarendon Street topped the list of blackspots in the capital where you are most likely to get clamped.

Dublin City Council (DCC) figures show Covid-19 lockdowns had a remarkable impact on parking enforcement rates, with 23,383 vehicles clamped last year - down more than 23,100 on 2019.

Only eight vehicles were clamped in the city at the height of the first lockdown last March compared with the monthly average of nearly 3,900 a year before.

Revenue

Reduced traffic levels also hit revenue from parking fees and fines.

Provisional figures indicate overall income from all parking revenue sources last year dropped by 38pc to just under €21m - down from €33.8m in 2019.

The bulk of revenue still comes from parking fees, which were down 37pc, or €11m, to just over €19m.

Around three-fifths of motorists now pay for parking in the city with their mobile phone through the Parking Tag app.

Clarendon Street is where motorists are most likely to have their vehicles clamped after a tenfold increase in the number caught parking there illegally.

A total of 625 vehicles were clamped on the street - which runs parallel to Grafton Street at the back of the Westbury Hotel - last year compared with 67 in 2019.

The South Circular Road - one of the longest thoroughfares in the city - remained in second place with 369 vehicles clamped last year. That was nearly 250 fewer than in 2019.

Two roads in Ranelagh - Chelmsford Road and the main street (officially known as just Ranelagh) - were the next most common places to get clamped .

The figures show clamping blackspots are predominantly on the city's southside, with only two of the top 10 locations north of the River Liffey - Capel Street and Commons Street.

Mespil Road, which was the city's top blackspot for clamping vehicles in four of the previous five years, does not even feature in the top 10 clamping locations for 2020.

Last year, a total of 148 vehicles were clamped on the road - which runs along the Grand Canal between the bridges at Baggot Street and Leeson Street - compared with 911 in 2019.

Other areas that were previously a popular target for clampers, including Burling- ton Road, Parnell Street, Ormond Quay and Townsend Street, no longer feature in the main illegal parking blackspots.

The figures show the most common time for vehicles to get clamped last year was be- tween 8am and 10am, while clampers were busiest on Thursdays.

A council spokesperson said the impact of Covid-19 had reduced expectations of the number of vehicles that would be clamped.

However, the spokesperson said enforcement measures on clearways, bus lanes, cycle ways, footpaths and entrances to businesses and private homes were "a valuable and necessary service".

Despite reduced traffic levels, the figures show fees for reclaiming vehicles from the city pound in Harold's Cross rose by 11pc to €67,025 last year.

Illegally parked vehicles that are not removed within 24 hours are towed away and impounded, with the owners required to pay a release fee of €160 plus a daily storage charge of €35 to have them returned.

There are around 30,000 on-street parking spaces in the city, and vehicles were clamped at more than 1,400 locations last year.

Suburbs

Rates for catching offending motorists are even higher in parts of the suburbs controlled by the other three local authorities in Dublin.

Convent Lane in Dún Laoghaire had the highest number of parking fines in the city and county last year.

A total of 1,273 motorists were issued with €40 fines for parking on Convent Lane, next to Bloomfields Shopping Centre.

Main Street in Lucan was the only other location where more than 1,000 motorists were caught parking illegally.

Areas outside the city where motorists are targeted are Robinhood Road, Ballymount; Rock Hill, Blackrock; Cookstown Way, Tallaght; Main Street, Swords; and Monkstown Crescent, Monkstown.

Top 10 clamping blackspots (Number of vehicles clamped)

1 - Clarendon Street - 625

2 - South Circular Road - 396

3 - Chelmsford Road - 294

4 - Ranelagh - 260

5 - South William Street - 255

6 - Merrion Square South - 253

7 - Capel Street - 247

8 - Commons Street - 217

9 - Merrion Square West - 201

10 - Waterloo Road - 183

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