Shotts Parking

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Shotts Parking

Shotts parking in Lanarkshire is getting more problematical by the day. There look to be more double yellow lines, added traffic wardens, less free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Hopefully we can assist you with your parking in Shotts. If you have received a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Shotts, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

First of all there are two various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are clear about which notice you have received. If the ticket is an official notice from Shotts council or Shotts police then you have been issued a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Shotts council or Shotts police for suggestion on what to do after that. Shotts council will have comprehensive information 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.

As a rule they supply a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The Penalty Charge Notice must as well contain obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any support, such as a video, which is being relied upon to establish you committed the offence. Crucially, the PCN ought to also include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals procedure and the timescales involved.

If you are in any reservation as to what to do when you pick up a penalty charge notice, it is always a good idea to get independent opinion from the Shotts Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Shotts lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Shotts 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 contract with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their property.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions typically 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, specifically 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 include a set time limit, an obligation 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 additional 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 accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may desire to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The most important difference linking an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is zilch in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Therefore they should not be described as penalties or fines, although many 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 a claim for damages. The amount 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 cost ought to be sensible and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although 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 recover a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you suppose there has been an oversight 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 case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this period. Take into account that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also imperative to note that, as things now exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. For that reason 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 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 confident 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 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it is 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 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 acquire.