Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has published legislation intended to ensure that all clamping activities are carried out in a fair and transparent manner.

The Vehicle Clamping Bill 2014 will also regulate clamping on private property.

It also means rogue clamping operators will face stiff penalties if they breach regulations.

In addition, a regulator will be appointed to oversee the entire clamping sector.

A maximum clamping release fee of €100 for clamping on private property will be set for the first time.

At present, not all clampers are the same and they do not all operate under the same regime.

Fines can vary wildly depending on whether one has been clamped by a local authority or a private operator.

The National Transport Authority is to oversee the complaint process.

If people are unhappy with how a private clamper has dealt with a complaint, they can take it directly to the NTA.

Mr Varadkar said the decision not to ban clamping in hospital car parks was taken because some people still park "recklessly" in such places.

He said the new legislation will be in place by next year.