Kingston-upon-Thames Parking

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Kingston-upon-Thames Parking

Kingston-upon-Thames parking in Greater London is getting more challenging by the day. There appear to be further yellow lines, additional traffic wardens, with a reduction of free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Hopefully we can help you with your parking in Kingston-upon-Thames. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Kingston-upon-Thames, then we are here to help out.

Firstly there are 2 various 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 notice you have received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from Kingston-upon-Thames council or Kingston-upon-Thames police then you've been issued 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 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 should refer to the Kingston-upon-Thames council or Kingston-upon-Thames police for suggestion on what to do after that. Kingston-upon-Thames council will have thorough advice 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.

More often than not they supply a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The notice ought to also include transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any data, such as a video, which is being relied upon to demonstrate you committed the offence. Significantly, the Penalty Charge Notice ought to also contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals modus operandi and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you receive a pcn, it is always a good idea to seek separate opinion from the Kingston-upon-Thames Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Kingston-upon-Thames lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Kingston-upon-Thames 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 landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their property.

A proprietor typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions generally in a sign 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, especially if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are therefore entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, an obligation to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed obviously and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra points across the location, along with information about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may wish to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The major disparity relating 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. For that reason 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 giving out a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make an application for compensation. The amount they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the property in question. According to the CAB, this rate ought to be realistic and in line with the loss suffered by the business, 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 recover a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you believe there has been a lapse 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 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 bear out their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this stage. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also vital to note that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only 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 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 prove its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can anticipate a series 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 difficult 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 acquire.