Great Harwood Parking

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Great Harwood Parking

Great Harwood parking in Lancashire is getting harder by the day. There look to be more double yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, a reduced amount of free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With a bit of luck we can help you with your parking in Great Harwood. If you have received a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Great Harwood, then we are here to lend a hand.

First of all there are two different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are clear about which one you've received. If the ticket is a legitimate notice from Great Harwood council or Great Harwood 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 ought to refer to the Great Harwood council or Great Harwood police for opinion on what to do next. Great Harwood council will have detailed directives 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.

By and large they make available a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The PCN ought to as well contain comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any corroboration, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice must also contain 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 reservation as to what to do when you obtain a penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to seek separate advice from the Great Harwood Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Great Harwood lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Great Harwood solicitor.

If you have got a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking business. A private parking business 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 property.

A proprietor typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions generally 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 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 requisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed openly 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 be given 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 want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The key difference between an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is nothing in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. For that reason they should not 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 a claim for damages. The total they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the CAB, this cost ought to be acceptable and in line with the loss suffered by the company, although extreme 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 claim a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you believe 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 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 prove their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau 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 presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only 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 vehicle, 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 certain 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 expect a series 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. 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 confirm 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to acquire.