Annan Parking

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Annan Parking

Annan parking in Dumfriesshire is getting harder by the day. There look to be additional double yellow lines, additional 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 assist you with your parking in Annan. If you have established a parking fine or ticket whilst parking in Annan, then we are here to help.

First there are two various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are clear about which one you've received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Annan council or Annan police then you have been issued 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 wrongly on civic property. Such an offence is backed up by criminal law and you can be fined or end up in court for non-payment of the fines.

If you have received a PCN issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Annan council or Annan police for instruction on what to do after that. Annan council will have detailed 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.

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

The notice should also contain unmistakable detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any evidence, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to prove you committed the offence. Significantly, the Penalty Charge Notice must also contain 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 uncertainty as to what to do when you obtain a penalty charge notice, it is always a good idea to seek independent opinion from the Annan Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Annan lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Annan 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 union with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their property.

A proprietor typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions ordinarily 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 consequently entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will involve 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 visibly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the location, along with information about parking charges and any consequent 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 find they are not, you may desire to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The main variance relating an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is not anything in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Consequently they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though 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 quantity 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 should 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 suppose there has been a lapse 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 give 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 corroborate their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB 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 imperative to note that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. So if you were not 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 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 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 prove its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting a progression 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. Consequently, 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 is 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 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.