Croston Parking

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Croston Parking

Croston parking in Lancashire is getting harder by the day. There appear to be further double yellow lines, more 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?

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

First of all there are two discrete types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which notice you've received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from Croston council or Croston police then you've been issued 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 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Croston council or Croston police for advice on what to do next. Croston 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.

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

The notice ought to as well contain obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any confirmation, such as a video, which is being relied upon to prove you committed the offence. Significantly, the PCN should 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 uncertainty as to what to do when you obtain a pcn, it is always a nice idea to seek independent advice from the Croston Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Croston lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Croston solicitor.

If you have received a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking company. A private parking company is an organisation which has entered into a union with a landlord 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 one already there - they will set out restrictions typically in a sign 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 as a result entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean a set time limit, a condition 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 other points across the location, along with info about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you receive a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The key distinction linking an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is zilch 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, even though 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 an entitlement for costs. 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 Citizen's Advice Bureau, this cost should be rational 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 believe there has been an error and you should not 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 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 confirm their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau 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 important to note that, as things presently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. Thus 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 bestow 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 look forward to a progression 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 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 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 buy.