Burnage Parking

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Burnage Parking

Burnage parking in Greater Manchester is getting harder by the day. There appear to be further yellow lines, added traffic wardens, a reduced amount of free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Hopefully we can assist you with your parking in Burnage. If you have established a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Burnage, then we are here to assist.

Firstly there are 2 distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you've received. If the ticket is an official notice from Burnage council or Burnage 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 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 Burnage council or Burnage police for advice on what to do next. Burnage council will have detailed directives 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.

By and large they make available a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN should in addition include clear detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any facts, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to demonstrate you committed the offence. Crucially, 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 system and the timescales involved.

If you are in any reservation as to what to do when you obtain a pcn, it is always a safe idea to seek independent guidance from the Burnage Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Burnage lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Burnage 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 a union with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their ground.

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

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, a necessity to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed openly 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 ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you be given 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 desire to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The major variance linking an official penalty charge issued by the establishment 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. Therefore they should not be described as penalties or fines, although lots of 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 a claim for compensation. The total they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the property in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this charge should be rational and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although extreme 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 deem there has been an oversight and you should not 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 give 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 demonstrate their case 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 corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also significant to note that, as things presently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. Consequently 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 positive 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 progression 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 hard for these companies to prove 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 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to purchase.