Haringey Parking

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Haringey Parking

Haringey parking in Greater London is getting more testing by the day. There appear to be further yellow lines, additional traffic wardens, a smaller amount 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 we can help you with your parking in Haringey. If you have received a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Haringey, then we are here to help out.

First of all there are two different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are transparent about which one you have received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Haringey council or Haringey police then you have been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the 2 bodies are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on public domain 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Haringey council or Haringey police for opinion on what to do next. Haringey council will have meticulous information 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.

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

The PCN must in addition include plain detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any facts, such as a video, which is being relied upon to demonstrate you committed the offence. Significantly, the PCN must in addition include 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 doubt as to what to do when you pick up a pcn, it is always a nice idea to get separate opinion from the Haringey Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Haringey lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Haringey 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 an arrangement with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their land.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions frequently in a notice 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 hence 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 T&C's of the car park should be displayed visibly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra points across the location, along with info about parking charges and any ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you pick up a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are properly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may desire to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main distinction involving an official penalty charge issued by the establishment 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. For that reason they should not be described as penalties or fines, although countless 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 costs. The sum 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 rate should be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though 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 feel there has been a mistake 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 make available 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 show their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Take into account that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also central to write down that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. As a result 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 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 expect a string 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 just.

The bottom line is it's 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 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 acquire.