MacDuff Parking

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MacDuff Parking

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

With a bit of luck uk comprehensive can assist you with your parking in MacDuff. If you have established a parking fine or ticket whilst parking in MacDuff, then we are here to assist.

Firstly there are 2 separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which notice you have received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from MacDuff council or MacDuff police then you have 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 illegally 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 should refer to the MacDuff council or MacDuff police for recommendation on what to do after that. MacDuff council will have meticulous advice on their web pages 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 frame.

Regularly they afford a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN must as well contain clear detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any support, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Significantly, the PCN should in addition contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals process and the timescales involved.

If you are in any reservation as to what to do when you collect a pcn, it is always a safe idea to get separate counsel from the MacDuff Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a MacDuff lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a MacDuff solicitor.

If you have got 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 terrain.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions typically 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 as a result entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will involve a set time limit, a condition to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed clearly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the location, along with info about parking fees and any ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you pick up a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The most important differentiation between an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is not anything in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Therefore they should not be described as penalties or fines, even though various parking operators will label their notices a Parking Charge Notice, which handily also abbreviates to PCN (what a coincidence!).

In issuing a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make an entitlement for costs. The sum they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the property in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this rate should be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the company, even though 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 suppose there has been a mistake and you shouldn't have been issued a ticket, you may want to dispute the charge with the parking company as soon as possible. You should ask them to give confirmation 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 bear out 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 significant to write down that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. 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 car, you are under no legal obligation to impart the parking operator with any further information, 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 look forward to a succession 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. 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it's going to be very hard for these companies to show 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 advise 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.