Alford Parking

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Alford Parking

Alford parking in Aberdeenshire is getting more challenging by the day. There seem to be further yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, a reduced amount of free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Hopefully uk comprehensive can help you with your parking in Alford. If you have established a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Alford, then we are here to help.

First there are 2 separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which one you have received. If the ticket is an official notice from Alford council or Alford police then you have been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the Police and the Council are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on municipal land. Such an offence is backed up by criminal law and you can be fined or end up in court for non-payment of the fines.

If you have received a Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Alford council or Alford police for counsel on what to do after that. Alford council will have comprehensive information on their web pages outlining how long you have got to pay the fine, how to pay the fine and the penalties implicated if you fail to pay within the time limit.

By and large they give a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN ought to as well contain comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any corroboration, such as a video, which is being relied upon to confirm you committed the offence. Importantly, the PCN should also include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals modus operandi and the timescales involved.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you are given a pcn, it is always a good idea to get separate opinion from the Alford Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Alford lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Alford solicitor.

If you have received a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking company. A private parking company is an organisation which has entered into an understanding with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their property.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions ordinarily in a sign displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that land. By choosing to park on the land it may be implied that you agree to these conditions, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are for that reason entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a requirement to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed clearly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the site, along with information about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The key differentiation linking an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is naught in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Therefore they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though loads of parking operators will label their notices a Parking Charge Notice, which handily also abbreviates to PCN (what a coincidence!).

In giving out a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make an application for damages. The quantity they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the land in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this payment should be affordable and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although excessive charges are common. This isn't a criminal matter despite any impression given to the contrary by the operator.

The operator has no right to salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been a blunder and you should not have been issued a ticket, you may wish to dispute the charge with the parking company as soon as possible. You should ask them to offer proof of their case against you. If you fail to reach an agreement with them, then, as with all civil matters, it is up to the parking company to confirm their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also important to write down that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. For that reason if you were not the person driving you may wish to inform the parking company of this right away. Just because you are the registered keeper of the vehicle, you are under no legal obligation to supply the parking operator with any further info, as you would be with the police. In particular you do not have to identify the driver or supply his or her name and address.

Indeed if you are certain that you have not parked in contravention of the rules of the car park, you do not have to contact the parking company if you do not wish to do so as the obligation is on the parking company to verify its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting a series of letters from the company itself, debt collectors and solicitors, all warning of court action. However, the reality is that very few cases ever reach court because of the difficulties the private company has in proving its case. As a result, the letters usually stop. Even if a case does reach court, the company may have trouble convincing a judge that the charge is just.

The bottom line is it is going to be very hard for these companies to establish you are a guilty party in this. In 99.99% of cases the best thing to do is rip up the ticket and throw it away. We would recommend not to get in touch with the company (as you are handing them your details) or waste your time and money consulting a solicitor. Most of these companies do not provide proper signage - in other words they are easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to purchase.