Alfreton Parking

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Alfreton Parking

Alfreton parking in Derbyshire is getting harder by the day. There seem to be further double yellow lines, added traffic wardens, with a reduction of free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Confidently we can help you with your parking in Alfreton. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Alfreton, then we are here to assist.

To begin with there are two various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is crucial for your wallet that you are clear about which one you have received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Alfreton council or Alfreton police then you have been issued a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the Police and the Council are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on civic 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 should refer to the Alfreton council or Alfreton police for information on what to do after that. Alfreton council will have meticulous instructions 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.

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

The PCN must in addition include unmistakable detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any data, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Significantly, the Penalty Charge Notice should also contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals procedure and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you are given a pcn, it is always a safe idea to seek independent advice from the Alfreton Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Alfreton lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Alfreton solicitor.

If you have got 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 understanding with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their terrain.

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions regularly 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, 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 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 clearly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the location, along with information about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you receive 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 desire to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The main differentiation concerning an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is zilch 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 loads 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 costs. The sum 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 charge should be sensible and in line with the loss suffered by the company, 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 claim a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you believe there has been a lapse 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 offer confirmation 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 demonstrate their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB 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 of great consequence to note that, as things now exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. So 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 car, you are under no legal obligation to bestow 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 convinced 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 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. 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 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to buy.