Crediton Parking

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Crediton Parking

Crediton parking in Devon is getting more challenging by the day. There appear to be further yellow lines, extra 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 any luck we can assist you with your parking in Crediton. If you have received a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Crediton, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

At the outset there are 2 discrete types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which notice you've received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Crediton council or Crediton police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the 2 bodies are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on civic 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Crediton council or Crediton police for assistance on what to do next. Crediton council will have thorough information on their website 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 grant a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The Penalty Charge Notice must in addition include plain detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any proof, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Crucially, the notice must also include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals modus operandi and the timescales involved.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you obtain a pcn, it is always a safe idea to get separate guidance from the Crediton Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Crediton lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Crediton solicitor.

If you have received a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking company. A private parking company is an organisation which has entered into a pact 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 ordinarily in a sign 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, particularly 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 involve a set time limit, a requirement to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed noticeably 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 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 correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may desire to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The major distinction linking an official penalty charge issued by the establishment 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. Therefore they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though lots 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 entitlement for damages. 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 sensible and in line with the loss suffered by the company, even though excessive 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 have reason 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 make available 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 demonstrate their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Take into account that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also crucial to note that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. Therefore 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 provide 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 positive 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 prove 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 fair.

The bottom line is it's going to be very difficult for these companies to show 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to acquire.