Ilfracombe Parking

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Ilfracombe Parking

Ilfracombe parking in Devon is getting more difficult by the day. There seem to be further double yellow lines, additional 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 we can assist you with your parking in Ilfracombe. If you have established a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Ilfracombe, then we are here to help out.

First of all there are 2 distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you've received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from Ilfracombe council or Ilfracombe police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on public domain 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 ought to refer to the Ilfracombe council or Ilfracombe police for guidance on what to do next. Ilfracombe 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 involved if you fail to pay within the time limit.

Commonly they make available a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The notice must as well contain comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any corroboration, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Significantly, the notice must also contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals system and the timescales involved.

If you are in any reservation as to what to do when you receive a pcn, it is always a safe idea to get independent counsel from the Ilfracombe Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Ilfracombe lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Ilfracombe solicitor.

If you have received a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking business. A private parking business is an organisation which has entered into an arrangement with a landlord 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 customarily in a sign 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 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, a requirement to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed obviously and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra points across the site, along with information about parking charges 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 appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may desire to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The major differentiation between an official penalty charge issued by the authorities 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. Consequently they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, although scores 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 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 charge should be rational and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although 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 claim a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you suppose there has been a blunder and you shouldn't 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 evidence 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 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. Take into account that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also imperative to write down that, as things now exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. Consequently if you weren't 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 supply 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 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 verify its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on a sequence 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 get in touch with 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.