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Minister Varadkar announces plans to regulate vehicle clamping

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar today announced new plans to regulate the clamping industry.

The Minister is proposing a Bill to regulate clamping, in line with the commitment in the Programme for Government. He will be presenting outline proposals to the Oireachtas Transport Committee, and asking them to draft a set of recommendations following consultations with interested parties, as well as the general public.

Minister Varadkar said:

The law currently allows local authorities to clamp vehicles in public places, either directly or by contract with a clamping company. However, the current system of clamping on private property is under-regulated, bad for motorists and bad for business. There is no legislation specifically covering the clamping of vehicles parked on private property, and the legal position is unclear. We want to bring in a new system which protects motorists from exploitation, and benefits legitimate operators, but which still penalises bad parking behaviour’.

Members of the public have expressed serious concerns about the activity of some private clampers. In particular, allegations have been made of clampers behaving in a less than fair manner, yet there is no appeals mechanism against these perceived abuses.

At the same time, an outright ban could be a move in the wrong direction. Fair clamping does prevent nuisance parking on public roads or on private property, particularly at apartment blocks and shopping centres.

Self-regulation of the industry could be an option, but on current evidence it might not be effective. That is why I would like to see discussion on a more formal method of regulating the industry.

The Minister will present outline proposals to the Oireachtas Transport Committee for consideration. Committee members will be asked to consider the matters involved and consult widely with clamping operators, local authorities, and the public. The Committee will be asked to report back to the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport.

Read the full press release here