Runcorn Parking

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Runcorn Parking

Runcorn parking in Cheshire is getting harder by the day. There seem to be additional yellow lines, additional traffic wardens, a smaller amount 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 assist you with your parking in Runcorn. If you have received a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Runcorn, then we are here to help.

To begin with there are two 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 transparent about which notice you have received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Runcorn council or Runcorn police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on public land. Such an offence is backed up by criminal law and you can be fined or end up in court for not paying your fine.

If you have received a PCN issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Runcorn council or Runcorn police for instruction on what to do after that. Runcorn council will have complete directives 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 frame.

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

The notice must as well contain transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any verification, such as a video, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice ought to in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals process and the timescales involved.

If you are in any reservation as to what to do when you obtain a pcn, it is always a good idea to seek independent guidance from the Runcorn Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Runcorn lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Runcorn solicitor.

If you have received 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 agreement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their terrain.

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions usually 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, especially if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are thus entering into an agreement with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, a prerequisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed plainly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the location, along with information about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may desire to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The chief divergence linking 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. For that reason they should not be described as penalties or fines, even though countless 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 a claim for compensation. The quantity they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the property in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this cost ought to be realistic and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though 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 get back a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you believe there has been a misunderstanding and you should not 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 make available evidence 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 argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this period. Take into account that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also vital to write down that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. So if you were not the person driving you may wish to inform the parking company of this straight away. Just because you are the registered keeper of the car, you are under no legal obligation to supply 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 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 bear out its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can anticipate a sequence 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's going to be very difficult for these companies to demonstrate 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 contact 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 things you want to buy.