Rhyl Parking

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Rhyl Parking

Rhyl parking in Clwyd is getting more problematical by the day. There appear to be further yellow lines, more traffic wardens, a smaller amount free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

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

Firstly there are 2 discrete types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is very important for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which notice you've received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Rhyl council or Rhyl police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the 2 bodies are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on municipal 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 Rhyl council or Rhyl police for recommendation on what to do next. Rhyl council will have comprehensive 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 frame.

More often than not they offer a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The notice should in addition contain obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any indication, such as a video, which is being relied upon to establish you committed the offence. Crucially, the Penalty Charge Notice must in addition contain 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 uncertainty as to what to do when you receive a pcn, it is always a good idea to seek independent advice from the Rhyl Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Rhyl lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Rhyl solicitor.

If you have received a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking business. A private parking company 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 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 property. 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 contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will involve 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 openly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the site, 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 accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The most important disparity concerning 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. Hence they should not be described as penalties or fines, although numerous 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 amount 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 payment should be reasonable and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although extreme charges are common. This is not 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 sense there has been a lapse 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 make available 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 bear out their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this period. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also of great consequence 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 landlord. Consequently 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 car, you are under no legal obligation to provide 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 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 verify its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can expect a sequence 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it's going to be very hard for these companies to confirm 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 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to purchase.