Edenbridge Parking

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Edenbridge Parking

Edenbridge parking in Kent is getting more problematical by the day. There appear to be additional yellow lines, extra 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 we can assist you with your parking in Edenbridge. If you have received a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Edenbridge, then we are here to help out.

To begin with there are two distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are clear about which one you have received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from Edenbridge council or Edenbridge police then you have 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 illegally on municipal 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 ought to refer to the Edenbridge council or Edenbridge police for suggestion on what to do next. Edenbridge council will have comprehensive advice on their web pages 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 limit.

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

The PCN ought to in addition include obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any data, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to demonstrate you committed the offence. Crucially, the notice ought to also include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals modus operandi and the timescales involved.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you pick up a pcn, it is always a safe idea to get independent guidance from the Edenbridge Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Edenbridge lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Edenbridge 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 understanding with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their land.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions more often than not in a notification 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are therefore entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean a set time limit, a prerequisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed visibly 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 ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you pick up 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 desire to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main distinction concerning an official penalty charge issued by the establishment 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. Therefore 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 giving out a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make a claim for damages. The quantity 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 rate should be reasonable and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although 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 think there has been an error 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 prove their case 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 significant to write down that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the property-owner. Consequently 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 provide 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 convinced 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 corroborate its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting a progression 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. 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 establish 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to purchase.