Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Car Clamping in Ireland.

I've been clamped exactly twice and it is a total and utter pain in the ring piece. The first time was a genuine mistake, the second time it was my own fault. As you can imagine I nearly had a blue fit the first time. You don't even want to know what I said to the clamper, it's too early for that kind of talk.
Anyway, I hate being clamped and have seriously considered carrying an enormous set of bolt cutters around in the boot should it happen again. It infuriates me to see a line of cars clamped on a residential road. It's blackmail. Traffic blackmail. Parking blackmail.
Anyway, being a citizen and not a complete lunatic I have desisted from getting bolt cutters and am now just vewy vewy wary about where I park the car, reasoning-quite calmly and logically- that I don't need the spike in blood pressure or a manslaughter rap on my hands.
So it was with puckered lips and flared nostrils I listened to Lunchtime with Eamon Keane yesterday, as Independent councillor Daniel Callanan came on the air and blasted Galway Lord Mayor Cllr Padraig Conneely, who -allegedly -has succeeded in having a number of cars unclamped without a fine.
While there appear to be something of a running feud between the two men- they were both up the for Lord Mayor's job and Callanan was very narrowly beaten- there seems to be truth in what the councillor was alleging. So furious is he about the clamping that Cll Callanan very nearly scuppered the Galway festival by not allowing a license, demanding that action be taken over the clamping issue before he gave his vote.
There are legs to this story.
It was interesting to hear the Lord Mayor himself come on air yesterday and blather his way through Eamon's initial questions, but when asked a direct question in relation to the accusation, he admitted to 'making representations on behalf of' a number of people for a number of issues, of which clearly clamping is one of them. Eamon pressed him, but like all politicians he would not give a straight answer when a crooked one would do.
So in essence, it appears to me, Daniel Callanan is correct when he accuses the Lord Mayor of Galway shenanigans.
This one rule for me others for thee is typical of politicians and their ilk. Regardless of the personal sniping behind the scenes, if Callanan is correct and The Lord Mayor has been abusing his offical office by having clamps removed or friends and business associates alike then I'd like to know. I'd like it on record, so that the next time I am clamped I can ring the Lord Mayor of Dublin and plead my case.
Or perhaps I might invest in a pair of bolt cutter after all. Level the playing field, so to speak.

Labels:

38 Comments:

Blogger morgor said...

You don't even want to know waht I said to the camper

You called the clamper a camper?

For shame!

8:12 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Eep, drat, I'll amend it.

9:25 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think clamping is mostly pointless. I have been clamped three times, the first was my fault but it was a private company, you can cut those little fellas off but I had misplaced the trusty bolt cutters I usually carry in my handbag and had to pay. The second time was again a private company, not my fault but they didn't put a sticker on the drivers window, I did a shit load of damage to my car, the fuckers paid for the damage but not before I made an absolute show of myself. Then the third time was DCC, we disagreed somewhat, I had to pay mainly because clampers are generally thick cunts who couldn't get a real job and have to take the only job that might allow them assert a little "authority". I wrote my shitty letter and got my 80 dollars back. All in all if you can avoid paying them, more power to you. This fella is taking the piss though out of ordinary people.


Nonny

9:29 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Exactly, you and I would have to pay up. This chap appears to be abusing his position big time.

9:31 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Thing is though Nonny, if you cut the clamp off they will bring you to court for damage to property.

9:32 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the private company is not an agent of DCC you are ok. The main reason for this is that DCC and it's agents take photographs. They will tell you different I am sure but they have no authority to clamp your car, they can off course do it if say it is a private car park but there is nothing to stop you cutting the lock off. There would be other factors to consider, like if there are signs or say if you were blocking a delivery bay. In general if they are private you can chop him off.

I work in town and sometimes if I drive I park my car right outside the window, if clampers come an email goes round all the offices. It’s funny, you just see a big rush of people coming out to drive thier cars round the block and park back where they where. It is funny.

Nonny

10:03 a.m.  
Anonymous King Bob said...

Funny, back in the auld country (Scotland) it was ruled to be extortion and made illegal for private companies to clamp cars. Also you dont need boltcutters, let the air out of your tyres and Voila you are released. Merely carry a tyre inflator with you.

10:28 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Cheers King Bob, I'll remember that.

12:06 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

We need parking control or otherwise we'lll have every corner blocked and it will be a massive pain in the ass. Also, we need to make money from cars in cities - it reduces their number (personally, I am in favour of a London-style congestion charge) and it pays for services. However, clamping is not the way to go. This is because it can take an hour for the clampers to come back and de-clamp your car and this is the source of much frustration.

You should simply get a sticker on your windshield that says you have been fined and then it either comes out of your credit card, your bank, your PAYE tax or next year's car tax. The technology exists to do it. Personally, I prefer that it would come out of next year's car tax - if you had 3 parking violations, you might consider giving up the auld car altogether.

12:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm not against parking fine if they are warrented, but my first one was when I pulled into the carpark of a place I was entering, not realising that there was pay and display rules there before a certain time int he evening, the sign for which was hung around the corner, so I took a very dim view of that.
The second one was at christmas in Tesco's carpark, there actually wasn't a single space left so I parked on the striped lines- not blocking anyone in mind- but I didn't kick up about that one.

But clamping people because they're ten minutes late back to their car is bollocks, and you see it in Rathmines and the back of the Green all the time, the clampers checking and waiting for the time to run down. Vile.

12:54 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. James are you mad? We have

- Clampers 80 dollars an outing
- The highest road tax in Europe
- Extortionate car parking fees
- Additional charges for park and ride which undoubtedly will be incremental
- Poorly organized and overpriced public transport again if it served some of the more popular routes would diminish the need for park and ride facilities significantly.
- Toll fee's for a road that has been well paid for
- Nct fees
- Penalty points and fines which are a good idea, but where does the money go?
- Roads that are poorly signposted and in diabolical condition.
- A road planning authority who could be skipping up and down Grafton Street singing make hay not war for all the sense they make or good the do.
- Country roads with not only ridiculous speed limits but struggle to accommodate the average modern vehicle


So Dr. James rather than address any of the above issues, we'll create an additional charge? Actually if you could give me a valid answer for any of the above I will be more than happy to nip outside and piss against the wind.

Nonny

1:05 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Nonny, fair points all round, but the amount of people on the road in the city is ridiculous and relaxing laws on parking etc isn't going to help that.

Everybody has a car and as you said yourself you would prefer to use your car rather than get a bus so you don't get stuck with any weirdos.

They need to improve the public transport system a lot to make it more pleasant and more reliable so that people will use it, instead we have 100's of people travelling in the same direction every morning individually in their 5 seater cars. It's so inefficient.

1:17 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Nice tip, King Bob!

1:18 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I said Morgor that is one of the issues that need addressing the point is they are not addressing any of them, why aren't they? What are they doing with the money they spent? Until they know what they are doing with the money new fee's and clampers can go and fuck right off.

Nonny

1:29 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

Wow Nonny. Up to a couple of minutes ago, I thought I had just written a simple comment in FMCs comment box, not offended your entire way of life and existence.

Anyway, the majority of my comment was directed towards the format of paying parking fines - that they could be paid electronically, rather than having your car clamped for up to an hour after you get back to it - this seems unfair to me.

As for the congestion charge in London - it is a wonderful thing. It transformed London. I lived there for years and couldn't believe the transformation when I went back after the congestion charge was introduced - noise was reduced, you could cross the road and those thhat chose to pay the charge could then drive on a much less congested road.

To your points:

If you never park in the wrong place, then you never get clamped. That fixes that problem.

Now, you said that if I could provide you with a "valid answer for any of the above", then you would go outside and piss against the wind. I have indeed provided you with one incontroverably valid answer to the clampers point. So, when you get back in from your pissing, maybe you would write a comment on how wet your legs got and what it is like to have legs that smell of wee.

2:26 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

offended your entire way of life and existence.

This is a gratifyingly simple thing to achieve.

2:43 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

King Bob - what Medbh said.

2:53 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"offended your entire way of life and existence.

This is a gratifyingly simple thing to achieve."

Always at the ready eh Gimmie. I'd say that has brighteded up your whole day.

James,

London are right to charge a congestion fee but they have excellent infrastucutes and their public transport puts ours to shame so that does not validate your suggestion.

Nonny

3:13 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

I used the tube for years and yes you can go anywhere, but a zone 1 ticket right now costs about 9 euro for the day and you travel at an average of 8 miles per hour. Hardly putting us to shame.

The train from Maynooth to Connolly (15 miles) takes 40 minutes. I used to travel from Harlesden to South Kensington every day (about 5 miles) and it took at least an hour and one time it took two and a half hours to get home - i was stuck in a tunnel for most of it.

Far away hills look greener.

3:29 p.m.  
Blogger PI said...

You don't hear so much about clamping now on this side of the briny. There was a TV programme which found a lot of it to be illegal and some run by crooks.
Very bad luck on your part. I do want to k;now what you said. I always like to expand my vocabulary:)

3:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've all got a lot to be worrying about.

4:07 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

How about Christian Bale?
Is Batman a woman beater?

4:44 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

You've lost me Medbh.

Is Batman a woman beater? hmmm

Does he beat up female villains in the films? I don't think so, probably ties them up or some such.

4:52 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

Breaking news, Morgor. Breaking his mother's face news.

4:54 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

"how about" translates a little differently to me.

"How about a cup of tea?" means "would you like a cup of tea?"

"how about christian bale?" means "would christian bale be ok?"

Goddamn Canadians.

5:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I caught a DART for the second time in my entire life the other day, I thought it was pretty good actually, and only 2 euros 20Cent!

Batman/Bale, I saw it on SKY in the gym but I couldnt' catch the whole story. Has it been confirmed he walloped his mother?

5:18 p.m.  
Anonymous The Bad Ambassador said...

A friend of a friend tells a story about a colleague of hers who bought 4 clamps of her own. She would park wherever it was most convenient and then clamp her own wheels.

Not only did it render her car nigh on impossible to clamp, it was also nigh on impossible to steal.

Perhaps this is the way forward.

5:54 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I think if I have to go that far I'll just stick with the buses. That must take ages BA.

5:57 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dart is only accessable to small number of people. If buses where regular and even resonably clean it would be a good solution. Just like the parking fees at the park and ride, punishing people without providing a viable alternative is ridiculous.

Nonny

6:12 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Yep, the Lueas is pretty good though. What we really need is a good interlinking metro system.

6:19 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems a good solution. I am outta here. Have a good week.

Nonny.

6:52 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I would like to go out, but I have just paid a vet bill, I am now the poorest person in all the land.

6:54 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

The dart is only accessable to small number of people.

I wouldn't quite say a small number, but it doesn't suit everyone.

I used it every day (in conjunction with buses) to get to work for about 3 years.

Nearly every single train from 7-10am and 4-7pm mon-fri is packed to the gills.

They just need to make it more connected.

Metro plus buses plus dart plus luas all on the same ticket would work.

And the way they moan about trying to get it all to integrate is bollocks.

I was in Prague recently, they have one ticket for everything that works on a time system, you can buy 1 hour, 12 hours, 1 day , 5 day tickets for very reasonable prices and you can get anywhere in the city very quickly.

8:04 a.m.  
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