Curbing the clampers: Eight years preparing to control ‘rogues’

After years of false starts Shane Ross says sector will be regulated by October

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has announced that he has “commenced” parts of the 2015 Vehicle Clamping Act which will – by October – allow for the regulation of the clamping industry.

Mr Ross’s move comes a decade after concern was raised about so called “rogue clampers” who demand up to €300 to release vehicles clamped on private land.

A spokesman for Mr Ross said the commencement of parts of the Act would allow the National Transport Authority (NTA) publish clamping regulations for the purposes of public consultation, which would then be expected to come into force in October.

The move comes 10 years after concern was voiced about the behaviour of some clampers and nine years after the Consumers Association of Ireland said people were being clamped while attending church services in Rathfarnham, Dublin.


Here we plot the progress, if that is the correct term, of the legislation.

2009: Detailed proposals for regulation of the industry was presented to the department of Transport by the AA.

2010: Then opposition TD Simon Coveney introduced proposals in the Dáil to regulate the clamping industry – moves that were supported by a large swathe of the industry itself.

2011: A commitment to regulate the clamping industry was contained in the Fine Gael/Labour programme for government.

2014: However, progress was not rapid and it was not until 2014 when then minister for transport Leo Varadkar was able to pose outside Government Buildings with a clamp, to announce the end of what he described as "rogue clampers".

2015: The Bill, which had once been the Regulation of Vehicle Immobilisation Bill 2013, followed by the Regulation of Vehicle Immobilisation Bill 2014, was passed by the Oireachtas and became the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015.

At that point the department of transport said it would transfer powers to introduce the vehicle clamping regulations, to the National Transport Authority.

In August 2015, the NTA said work on the regulation of off-street clampers, including “rogue clampers” was “is in the early stages”.

2016: The NTA said drafting the regulatory regime was complex and raised issues relating to a possible scale of charges covering different areas or types of private property.

In a statement it said: “The authority may set different charges for different places, different circumstances or different times of the day”. There was therefore “quite an amount of preparatory work to be done by the NTA before the provisions of the Act can become operational”.

May 2017: On Friday Mr Ross said he was "delighted" to be able to commence sections of the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015.

“I know that people have called for a statutory regulatory framework in relation to vehicle clamping for many years. The Act designates the National Transport Authority as the statutory regulator for clamping and my commencement of the Act will now allow the NTA publish draft regulations relating to clamping, signage and clamp release charges and invite submissions from members of the public on those draft regulations.

“Following consideration of any submissions received, the NTA will then assume all its new responsibilities effective from October 1st,” he said.