Preston Parking

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Preston Parking

Preston parking in Lancashire is getting harder by the day. There appear to be further double yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, with a reduction of free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Confidently we can assist you with your parking in Preston. If you have established a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Preston, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

First there are 2 various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is crucial for your wallet that you are clear about which one you've received. If the ticket is a formal notice from Preston council or Preston police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the 2 bodies are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Preston council or Preston police for opinion on what to do after that. Preston council will have thorough 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 frame.

Ordinarily they supply a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN ought to in addition contain transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any confirmation, such as a video, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Importantly, the Penalty Charge Notice ought to also include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals process and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you receive a pcn, it is always a safe idea to get separate opinion from the Preston Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Preston lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Preston 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 landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their terrain.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions customarily in a notification 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 for that reason entering into an agreement with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise 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 noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the site, along with info about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you ought to 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 company to appeal the charge.

The key distinction linking an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is not anything 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 loads of 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 damages. The quantity they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the land in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this rate ought to be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though excessive 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you feel there has been an oversight 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 give evidence 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 show their argument 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 important 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 landowner. Consequently 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 provide 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 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 verify its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on a sequence 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 is going to be very hard 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.