Shepshed Parking

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Shepshed Parking

Shepshed parking in Leicestershire is getting more challenging by the day. There look to be additional yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, with a reduction of free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With any luck we can help you with your parking in Shepshed. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Shepshed, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

To begin with there are two different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is imperative for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which notice you have received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Shepshed council or Shepshed police then you've been issued a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly 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 Shepshed council or Shepshed police for instruction on what to do next. Shepshed council will have complete instructions on their web pages outlining how long you have got to pay the fine, how to pay the fine and the penalties involved if you fail to pay within the time frame.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice must also include obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any confirmation, such as a video, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice ought to also include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals method 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 separate advice from the Shepshed Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Shepshed lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Shepshed solicitor.

If you have received 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 contract with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses 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 regularly 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, especially if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are as a result entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean a set time limit, an obligation to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra points across the site, along with information about parking fees and any ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you pick up a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may wish to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The key distinction between 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. Hence they should not be described as penalties or fines, although numerous 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 costs. The total they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the property in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this rate should be rational 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 get back a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you feel there has been an oversight 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 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 bear out their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Remember that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also significant to note that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the property-owner. As a result if you were not 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 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 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 bear out its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on a string 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 prove 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 buy.