Brockenhurst Parking

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Brockenhurst Parking

Brockenhurst parking in Hampshire is getting harder by the day. There seem to be additional yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, a smaller amount free car parking and even supermarkets 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 Brockenhurst. If you have received a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Brockenhurst, then we are here to assist.

First there are 2 separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is crucial for your wallet that you are transparent about which one you've received. If the ticket is a legitimate notice from Brockenhurst council or Brockenhurst police then you have been issued 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 civic 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Brockenhurst council or Brockenhurst police for information on what to do after that. Brockenhurst council will have thorough instructions 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.

Regularly they supply a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The notice should as well include unmistakable detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any data, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to establish you committed the offence. Importantly, the PCN should also contain 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 reservation as to what to do when you pick up a penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to seek separate guidance from the Brockenhurst Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Brockenhurst lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Brockenhurst 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 agreement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their terrain.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions frequently in a notification 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are for that reason entering into an agreement with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a condition to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the location, 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 wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main differentiation linking an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is nothing in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Consequently they should not be described as penalties or fines, even though 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 a claim for costs. The total they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the property in question. According to the CAB, this rate should be fair 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you feel there has been a misunderstanding and you should not 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 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 prove their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB 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 great consequence to note that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. Thus if you were not 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 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 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 confirm its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can anticipate a succession 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it's going to be very difficult for these companies to confirm 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 things you want to buy.