Felsted Parking

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Felsted Parking

Felsted parking in Essex is getting harder by the day. There look to be additional 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 help you with your parking in Felsted. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Felsted, then we are here to lend a hand.

To begin with there are 2 various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is imperative for your wallet that you are clear about which one you've received. If the ticket is a formal notice from Felsted council or Felsted police then you've been issued 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 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 Felsted council or Felsted police for opinion on what to do next. Felsted council will have thorough information 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.

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

The notice should as well contain transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any confirmation, such as a video, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Crucially, the notice should in addition contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, 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 nice idea to seek independent counsel from the Felsted Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Felsted lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Felsted 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 a pact with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their land.

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 land. 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 consequently entering into an agreement with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, a requisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed plainly 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 ought to check that these terms are correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may desire to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The main difference between an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is not anything in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Hence 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 issuing a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make an application for damages. 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 CAB, this charge 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 believe there has been a misunderstanding 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 give confirmation of their case 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 CAB or a solicitor before things get to this point. Remember that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also significant to note that, as things currently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. As a result 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 car, you are under no legal obligation to bestow 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 assured 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 bear out its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can anticipate 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. 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 is going to be very hard for these companies to show 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 stuff you want to buy.