St. Asaph Parking

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St. Asaph Parking

St. Asaph parking in Clwyd is getting harder by the day. There seem to be more double yellow lines, added traffic wardens, a reduced amount 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 St. Asaph. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in St. Asaph, then we are here to help.

First of all there are two different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is fundamental for your wallet that you are transparent about which one you've received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from St. Asaph council or St. Asaph police then you've been issued 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 public domain property. 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 St. Asaph council or St. Asaph police for counsel on what to do next. St. Asaph 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 involved if you fail to pay within the time limit.

As a rule they offer a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The PCN should also contain unmistakable detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any support, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to demonstrate you committed the offence. Crucially, the PCN 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 reservation as to what to do when you receive a penalty charge notice, it is always a good idea to seek separate opinion from the St. Asaph Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a St. Asaph lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a St. Asaph solicitor.

If you have got 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 arrangement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their land.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions commonly in a notice 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 hence entering into a deal 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 clearly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the location, along with information about parking charges and any ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are properly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main disparity relating an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company 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 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 entitlement for damages. The quantity 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 sensible and in line with the loss suffered by the company, although 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 recover a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you have reason there has been a mistake 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 give evidence 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 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 point. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also important 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. Consequently if you were not 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 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 bear out 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 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 just.

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