Enfield Parking

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Enfield Parking

Enfield parking in Greater London is getting harder by the day. There appear to be further double 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?

With a bit of luck we can help you with your parking in Enfield. If you have received a parking fine or ticket whilst parking in Enfield, then we are here to assist.

First of all there are 2 discrete types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which one you've received. If the ticket is a legitimate notice from Enfield council or Enfield police then you have been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the Police and the Council are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on municipal 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Enfield council or Enfield police for instruction on what to do after that. Enfield council will have thorough instructions on their web pages 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 limit.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice ought to as well contain unmistakable detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any proof, such as a video, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Crucially, the Penalty Charge Notice ought to in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals system 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 good idea to get independent opinion from the Enfield Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Enfield lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Enfield solicitor.

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

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

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a requisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed visibly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the site, along with information about parking fees 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 properly displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may desire to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The key variance concerning an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is naught 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, 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 entitlement for compensation. 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 Citizen's Advice Bureau, this charge should be affordable and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though 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 get back a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been a blunder 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 offer evidence 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 Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this period. Remember 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 currently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the property-owner. For that reason if you were not 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 supply 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 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 corroborate its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can look forward to 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 reasonable.

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 recommend 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 things you want to purchase.