Darwen Parking

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Darwen Parking

Darwen parking in Lancashire is getting more testing by the day. There seem to be more double yellow lines, added traffic wardens, a smaller amount 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 uk comprehensive can assist you with your parking in Darwen. If you have established a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Darwen, then we are here to lend a hand.

To begin with there are 2 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 transparent about which one you have received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Darwen council or Darwen police then you have been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the 2 bodies are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on civic land. 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Darwen council or Darwen police for advice on what to do next. Darwen council will have comprehensive instructions 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 frame.

More often than not they offer a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The Penalty Charge Notice should also include obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any indication, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to confirm you committed the offence. Crucially, the Penalty Charge Notice ought to in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals process and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you collect a pcn, it is always a nice idea to seek separate advice from the Darwen Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Darwen lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Darwen solicitor.

If you have got a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking business. A private parking company is an organisation which has entered into a union with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their land.

A property-owner 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 notice displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that land. 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 an agreement with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise 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 extra points across the location, along with information about parking fees and any consequent 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 aren't, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The most important variance involving an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is naught 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 entitlement for compensation. The amount they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the land in question. According to the CAB, this charge ought to be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though extreme 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 get back 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 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 argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also crucial to write down that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. Thus if you weren't the person driving you may wish to inform the parking company of this straight 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 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 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 verify its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on a series 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 just.

The bottom line is it is going to be very difficult for these companies to demonstrate 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to purchase.