Didsbury Parking

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Didsbury Parking

Didsbury parking in Greater Manchester is getting more difficult by the day. There appear to be further yellow lines, extra 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?

Confidently we can help you with your parking in Didsbury. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Didsbury, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

First there are 2 distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are transparent about which one you have received. If the ticket is a legitimate notice from Didsbury council or Didsbury police then you have 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 illegally on public land. 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 Didsbury council or Didsbury police for counsel on what to do after that. Didsbury council will have complete 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.

Commonly they make available a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN should as well include obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any support, such as a video, which is being relied upon to establish you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice must in addition include 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 uncertainty as to what to do when you receive a pcn, it is always a good idea to seek independent guidance from the Didsbury Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Didsbury lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Didsbury solicitor.

If you have received a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking company. 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 ground.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions customarily in a sign 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, specifically if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are for that reason entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean a set time limit, an obligation 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 information about parking charges and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you ought to 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 key divergence involving 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. Hence they shouldn't 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 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 property in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this cost should be reasonable 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you believe 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 offer confirmation 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 argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this point. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also foremost to note that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. As a result 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 vehicle, 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 assured 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 demonstrate 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. 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's going to be very difficult 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 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.