Rochester Parking

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Rochester Parking

Rochester parking in Kent is getting more difficult by the day. There seem to be further yellow lines, more 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 uk comprehensive can assist you with your parking in Rochester. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Rochester, then we are here to assist.

First of all there are 2 distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are transparent about which one you have received. If the ticket is an official notice from Rochester council or Rochester police then you've been issued a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on public land. 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 Rochester council or Rochester police for opinion on what to do next. Rochester council will have complete advice 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.

As a rule they make available a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The notice ought to also include transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any proof, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice must in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals modus operandi and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you get a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to get independent opinion from the Rochester Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Rochester lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Rochester 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 a pact with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their ground.

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions commonly in a warning 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 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 prerequisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed clearly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the site, along with information about parking fees and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may want to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The core differentiation relating an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is naught in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Hence they should not be described as penalties or fines, even though numerous 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 an application for costs. The amount they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this cost ought to be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though excessive 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 deem there has been an error and you shouldn't 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 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 bear out their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Remember that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also foremost 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. Consequently 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 impart 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 positive 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 corroborate 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 hard 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 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to purchase.