Brentwood Parking

Church | Schools

Brentwood Parking

Brentwood parking in Essex is getting more difficult by the day. There appear to be further yellow lines, extra 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?

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

To begin with there are two discrete types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is crucial for your wallet that you are clear about which one you've received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Brentwood council or Brentwood police then you have been issued a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on public 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 should refer to the Brentwood council or Brentwood police for guidance on what to do next. Brentwood council will have thorough 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.

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

The notice ought to in addition contain comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any facts, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Importantly, the Penalty Charge Notice must in addition 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 uncertainty as to what to do when you are given a penalty charge notice, it is always a good idea to seek independent advice from the Brentwood Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Brentwood lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Brentwood 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 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 commonly in a notice displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that terrain. 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 contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include 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 openly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the location, along with information about parking charges and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you pick up a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may wish to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The most important differentiation between 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. Consequently they shouldn't 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 a claim for compensation. The sum they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the CAB, this payment should 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 recover a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you have reason there has been a mistake 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 give 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 show their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this point. Take into account that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also vital to write down that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. For that reason 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 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 convinced 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 verify 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. Consequently, 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 is 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 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.