Haverfordwest Parking

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Haverfordwest Parking

Haverfordwest parking in Dyfed is getting harder by the day. There appear to be more double yellow lines, added traffic wardens, a lesser amount of free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Confidently we can help you with your parking in Haverfordwest. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Haverfordwest, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

To start with there are two distinct 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 one you've received. If the ticket is a formal notice from Haverfordwest council or Haverfordwest police then you have been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the 2 bodies are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on civic 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 Haverfordwest council or Haverfordwest police for assistance on what to do after that. Haverfordwest council will have comprehensive information 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.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice ought to in addition include unmistakable detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any evidence, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to prove you committed the offence. Crucially, the Penalty Charge Notice must also contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals process and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you receive a pcn, it is always a safe idea to get independent advice from the Haverfordwest Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Haverfordwest lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Haverfordwest 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 a union with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their property.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - 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, especially if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are then entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, a prerequisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions 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 fees and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may wish to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The most important disparity between an official penalty charge issued by the authorities 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. Hence they should not be described as penalties or fines, even though numerous 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 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 rate ought to be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the company, even though excessive 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 get back a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you believe there has been an error 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 make available 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 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 stage. Remember that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also central to note that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. Consequently if you were not 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 supply 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 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 confirm its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can expect 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. 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 fair.

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