Appeals process and charge limits in new clamping rules

The Transport Minister says that new legislation will protect motorists from rogue clampers who could now face fines themselves of up to €5,000.

The new laws outlined this afternoon set a maximum release fee for people who have been clamped and will ensure there is adequate warning signage on private sites including shopping centres, schools and hospitals.

There is also a two-stage appeals process for those who feel they've been clamped inappropriately. The company responsible for the clamping will be required to have their own appeals process, and if that process proves unsatisfactory, an appeal can then be made to the National Transport Authority.

There will also be a €100 maximum limit, which can be adjusted by the NTA. The €80 cap for local authorities, listed in law, will remain unchanged. The maximum charge for relocating a vehicle will be €50.

Minister Leo Varadkar said it will stop the "free for all" which has existed until now.

"I think we all know of instances where people have been clamped, they've been charged, in some cases, €200-€300 to have their vehicle unclamped, and actually the signage that was there warning them that clamping was in operation either wasn't good, or had been removed, or was very far away.

"It's exactly those kind of instances we want to deal with."

But he warned that clamping itself was not being targeted.

"It's not that we don't think there is room for clamping, or a place for clamping - there clearly is."

Minister Varadkar also said that "it makes sense" in apartment buildings near transport links and shopping centres where people park without using the shops. He said the NTA has flexibility to treat certain areas, such as hospitals, differently.

The legislation, it is hoped, will be enacted by the end of the year.

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