Thornhill Parking

Church | Schools

Thornhill Parking

Thornhill parking in Dumfriesshire is getting harder by the day. There seem to be additional double yellow lines, extra 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?

With any luck uk comprehensive can help you with your parking in Thornhill. If you have received a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Thornhill, then we are here to help.

At the outset there are two separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is imperative for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which one you have received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Thornhill council or Thornhill 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 wrongly on civic 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Thornhill council or Thornhill police for guidance on what to do next. Thornhill council will have meticulous 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.

Generally they give a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN must as well include comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any evidence, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to confirm you committed the offence. Crucially, 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 process and the timescales involved.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you obtain a pcn, it is always a good idea to seek independent advice from the Thornhill Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Thornhill lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Thornhill solicitor.

If you have received a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking business. A private parking company is an organisation which has entered into an agreement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their land.

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions more often than not in a warning 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are then entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will involve a set time limit, a condition to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed clearly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the location, along with info 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 correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may want to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The main difference linking an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is nothing in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. For that reason they should not be described as penalties or fines, although loads 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 property in question. According to the CAB, this cost should 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 feel there has been an error and you should not 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 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 prove their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also of great consequence to note that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. 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 provide 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 confident 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 expect 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. 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 advise 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 things you want to purchase.