Buckie Parking

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Buckie Parking

Buckie parking in Banffshire is getting more difficult by the day. There seem to be further yellow lines, additional traffic wardens, with a reduction of free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Confidently we can help you with your parking in Buckie. If you have received a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Buckie, then we are here to help out.

First of all there are two different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you've received. If the ticket is a formal notice from Buckie council or Buckie police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the Police and the Council are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Buckie council or Buckie police for suggestion on what to do next. Buckie council will have detailed instructions on their website outlining how long you have got to pay the fine, how to pay the fine and the penalties involved if you fail to pay within the time limit.

Typically they provide a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The PCN should in addition contain plain detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any proof, such as a video, which is being relied upon to establish you committed the offence. Importantly, the PCN ought to also include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals system and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you get a penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to get separate guidance from the Buckie Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Buckie lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Buckie solicitor.

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

A proprietor typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions more often than not in a sign displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that terrain. 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 then entering into an agreement 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 extra points across the site, along with info about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you receive a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may want to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The chief variance relating an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private business 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, although many 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 sum they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this cost should be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although extreme 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 recover a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you feel there has been a misunderstanding and you shouldn't 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 make available proof of their argument 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 stage. Remember that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also vital 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 property-owner. As a result if you weren't 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 impart 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 assured 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 corroborate its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on a progression of letters from the company itself, debt collectors and solicitors, all warning of court action. However, the reality is that extremely few cases ever reach court because of the difficulties the private company has in proving its case. Consequently, the letters usually stop. Even if a case does reach court, the company may have trouble convincing a judge that the charge is fair.

The bottom line is it is going to be very hard for these companies to prove 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to acquire.