Lyndhurst Parking

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Lyndhurst Parking

Lyndhurst parking in Hampshire is getting harder by the day. There appear to be additional double 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?

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

First there are 2 distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are clear about which notice you've received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from Lyndhurst council or Lyndhurst 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 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 should refer to the Lyndhurst council or Lyndhurst police for advice on what to do next. Lyndhurst council will have thorough directives 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 frame.

Regularly they afford a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The Penalty Charge Notice should as well include transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any support, such as a video, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Importantly, the Penalty Charge Notice must also 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 reservation as to what to do when you are given a pcn, it is always a nice idea to seek separate opinion from the Lyndhurst Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Lyndhurst lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Lyndhurst 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 contract with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their terrain.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions more often than not 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are thus entering into a contract 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 extra points across the location, along with info about parking fees and any ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main distinction between an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is zilch in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Therefore they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though scores of 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 entitlement for costs. The quantity 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 charge ought to be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though excessive charges are common. This isn't a criminal matter despite any impression given to the contrary by the operator.

The operator has no right to claim a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you have reason there has been a mistake 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 provide 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 prove their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also vital 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. Therefore 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 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 confident 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 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. Consequently, 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 demonstrate 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to purchase.