Abbotsbury Parking

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Abbotsbury Parking

Abbotsbury parking in Dorset is getting harder by the day. There appear to be more yellow lines, added traffic wardens, less free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With any luck we can help you with your parking in Abbotsbury. If you have established a parking fine or ticket whilst parking in Abbotsbury, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

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 unmistakable about which one you have received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Abbotsbury council or Abbotsbury police then you have been given 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 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 Abbotsbury council or Abbotsbury police for instruction on what to do after that. Abbotsbury council will have meticulous advice 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.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice must also include obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any confirmation, such as a video, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Crucially, the PCN must in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals method and the timescales involved.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you collect a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to seek independent guidance from the Abbotsbury Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Abbotsbury lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Abbotsbury solicitor.

If you have received 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 landlord to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their property.

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

More often than not, such restrictions will mean 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 noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the site, along with information about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main differentiation involving 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 shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, although numerous 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 damages. The total they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the property in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this payment ought to be realistic and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been an error 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 make available proof 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 of great consequence to note that, as things currently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. For that reason if you weren't 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 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 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 count on a sequence of letters from the company itself, debt collectors and solicitors, all warning of court action. However, the reality is that very 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it's going to be very difficult for these companies to confirm 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 buy.