Letchworth Parking

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Letchworth Parking

Letchworth parking in Hertfordshire is getting more difficult by the day. There appear to be more yellow lines, more 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?

With a bit of luck uk comprehensive can assist you with your parking in Letchworth. If you have established a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Letchworth, then we are here to help.

To begin with there are two various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which notice you have received. If the ticket is an official notice from Letchworth council or Letchworth police then you have been given 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 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 Letchworth council or Letchworth police for assistance on what to do next. Letchworth council will have meticulous instructions on their web pages 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.

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

The PCN ought to also include transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any verification, such as a video, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Crucially, the Penalty Charge 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 doubt as to what to do when you receive a penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to seek separate opinion from the Letchworth Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Letchworth lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Letchworth 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 a union with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their ground.

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 warning 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, specifically if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are consequently entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a prerequisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed openly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra 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 correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may want to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The core differentiation linking an official penalty charge issued by the authorities 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 many 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 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 CAB, this payment should be realistic and in line with the loss suffered by the company, even though 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 suppose there has been a mistake 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 provide evidence of their case 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 show 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 crucial to write down that, as things currently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. Therefore if you were not 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 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 certain 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 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. 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's 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 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to acquire.