CORK commuters have paid more than €380,000 in clamping charges at Kent Train Station since 2018.
Over 3700 vehicles have been clamped at Kent Train Station in the period from January 1, 2018 to February 17, 2023 which has resulted in total clamping fines of €380,800.
The figures were obtained following a recent Parliamentary Question from the Labour Party TD for Cork East Seán Sherlock who has called for the removal of the clamping process given the current cost of living crisis.
Deputy Sherlock said there needs to be an "agreed" form of enforcement across all Irish Rail stations.
“The pinch points of clamping in stations does highlight the need for consistency across all Irish Rail stations on what the agreed form of enforcement is, whether it is clamping or regular fines to be paid at another date.
"It would be preferable to see a removal of the clamping process given the immediate need for payment which is heightened in a cost of living crisis.”
“More engagement through an enforcement policy without clamping should be considered,” he added.
The figures were provided by the Chief Executive of Irish Rail Jim Meade to Deputy Sherlock.
Mr Meade said the revenue generated from each Irish Rail station goes towards the upkeep of their existing car parks and is invested into expanding the current car parking network.
The clamping figures for Kent Station were 969 in 2018, 900 in 2019, 397 in 2020, 786 in 2021 and 608 in 2022.
Mr Meade confirmed there have been 46 clamping charges at Kent Train Station and two at Mallow Train Station this year up to Friday, February 17.
Labour local area rep in Cork city Peter Horgan has called on Irish Rail to change their rules around clamping.
“Commuters are left stranded when they get back to their cars in the evening and realise they’ve been clamped.
"On cold, dark nights, people in Kent Station are left waiting at the train station for the clampers to come back and remove the clamp.
“It’s time to have a look at this. I am calling on Irish Rail to change the rules around clamping so that people in Cork do not have to pay on the spot to get it taken off,” he added.
“Clamping should not be seen as a purely revenue raising exercise,” Mr Horgan said.
“It would be preferable to see a removal of the clamping process given the need for payment, which is heightened in a cost of living crisis, compounded by the public safety issue where an individual arrives back at their car late at night and it’s clamped.
"There have been over 3,700 cars clamped since 2018 at Kent. I would urge Irish Rail to make it safer for commuters.”