Beckenham Parking

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Beckenham Parking

Beckenham parking in Kent is getting harder by the day. There seem to be more yellow lines, added traffic wardens, a lesser amount of free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With any luck uk comprehensive can help you with your parking in Beckenham. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Beckenham, then we are here to help.

First of all 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 transparent about which one you've received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Beckenham council or Beckenham police then you've been given 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 public 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Beckenham council or Beckenham police for guidance on what to do after that. Beckenham council will have comprehensive 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.

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

The PCN ought to as well include obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any evidence, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Significantly, the PCN ought to in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals process and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you receive a penalty charge notice, it is always a good idea to seek separate opinion from the Beckenham Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Beckenham lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Beckenham 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 an arrangement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses 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 frequently 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, especially if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are therefore entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will involve 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 obviously and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the location, 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 should check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may wish to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The most important difference involving an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is not anything in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. For that reason they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, although loads 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 application for compensation. The total they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the CAB, this charge ought to be reasonable and in line with the loss suffered by the business, 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 feel there has been a lapse 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 confirmation 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 demonstrate their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this point. Remember that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also important to note that, as things now exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. As a result 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 supply 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 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 confirm its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting a string 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 just.

The bottom line is it is 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 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 purchase.