Minchinhampton Parking

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Minchinhampton Parking

Minchinhampton parking in Gloucestershire is getting more testing by the day. There look to be further yellow lines, added traffic wardens, less 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 assist you with your parking in Minchinhampton. If you have established a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Minchinhampton, then we are here to help out.

At the outset there are two different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which one you have received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Minchinhampton council or Minchinhampton 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 illegally on public domain land. 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 should refer to the Minchinhampton council or Minchinhampton police for advice on what to do next. Minchinhampton council will have comprehensive instructions 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.

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

The PCN should in addition contain obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any verification, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Significantly, the Penalty Charge Notice ought to in addition contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals procedure and the timescales involved.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you are given a penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to seek separate advice from the Minchinhampton Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Minchinhampton lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Minchinhampton solicitor.

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

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions customarily in a warning 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are consequently entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include 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 site, along with info about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The key differentiation between an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is nothing 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 various 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 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 charge should be acceptable and in line with the loss suffered by the company, although excessive 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 have reason there has been an oversight 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 proof 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 confirm 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 the essence 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. So if you weren't 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 bestow 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 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 bear out its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting a series 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 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 acquire.