Bournemouth Parking

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Bournemouth Parking

Bournemouth parking in Dorset is getting harder by the day. There seem to be more double yellow lines, more traffic wardens, a smaller amount free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With a bit of luck we can help you with your parking in Bournemouth. If you have received a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Bournemouth, then we are here to help.

First there are two various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you have received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Bournemouth council or Bournemouth 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 public domain 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Bournemouth council or Bournemouth police for recommendation on what to do next. Bournemouth council will have complete advice on their website 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 frame.

Habitually they give a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The Penalty Charge Notice must in addition include plain detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any proof, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Significantly, the Penalty Charge Notice ought to in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, 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 collect a penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to get separate opinion from the Bournemouth Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Bournemouth lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Bournemouth 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 a contract with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their terrain.

A proprietor typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions typically in a notice 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, specifically if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are thus entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a prerequisite 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 extra points across the location, along with info about parking fees and any ensuing 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 discover they aren't, you may want to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The core distinction relating an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is zilch in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Hence they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, although countless 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 compensation. The quantity 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 ought to be affordable and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although extreme 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been a blunder 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 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 confirm 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. Remember that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also central to write down that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. Therefore 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 vehicle, you are under no legal obligation to impart 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 convinced 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 corroborate its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on a progression 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's going to be very difficult 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to buy.