Llangollen Parking

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Llangollen Parking

Llangollen parking in Clwyd is getting more testing by the day. There look to be further yellow lines, more 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?

With a bit of luck we can help you with your parking in Llangollen. If you have established a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Llangollen, then we are here to lend a hand.

First of all there are two various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are clear about which one you've received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Llangollen council or Llangollen 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 public property. 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Llangollen council or Llangollen police for instruction on what to do after that. Llangollen council will have complete advice 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.

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

The notice should in addition contain unmistakable detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any indication, such as a video, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Crucially, the PCN ought to also include 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 penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to get independent opinion from the Llangollen Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Llangollen lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Llangollen solicitor.

If you have got a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking business. 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 ground.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions generally in a warning 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 consequently entering into an agreement with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, an obligation to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed obviously and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra points across the site, along with info about parking charges and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you pick up a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may desire to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The core disparity between an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is zilch in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Consequently they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though scores of 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 compensation. 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 CAB, this cost ought to be sensible 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 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 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 corroborate their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this stage. Remember that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also of the essence to write down that, as things now exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. Thus if you weren't the person driving you may wish to inform the parking company of this straight 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 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 confident 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 demonstrate its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can anticipate a progression 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. 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 difficult 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to buy.