Magherafelt Parking

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Magherafelt Parking

Magherafelt parking in County Londonderry is getting harder by the day. There appear to be further double yellow lines, added traffic wardens, less free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With any luck uk comprehensive can assist you with your parking in Magherafelt. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Magherafelt, then we are here to lend a hand.

Firstly there are 2 various 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 a bureaucratic notice from Magherafelt council or Magherafelt 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 wrongly on municipal 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Magherafelt council or Magherafelt police for guidance on what to do after that. Magherafelt council will have detailed 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.

Frequently they supply a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The PCN should also contain clear detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any indication, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Crucially, the notice must 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 doubt as to what to do when you collect a pcn, it is always a nice idea to seek separate opinion from the Magherafelt Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Magherafelt lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Magherafelt 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 a pact with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their ground.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions ordinarily in a warning displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that terrain. 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 therefore entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean a set time limit, a requirement 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 further points across the site, along with information about parking fees and any ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you receive a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The key distinction relating 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. For that reason they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though loads of 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 costs. The sum they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the land in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this payment should be realistic and in line with the loss suffered by the company, even though 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 recover a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you feel there has been an error 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 offer 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 corroborate 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 prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also important to write down that, as things presently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. Thus 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 impart 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 assured that you have not parked in contravention of the regulations 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 be expecting 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 just.

The bottom line is it is going to be very hard 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 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to purchase.