Wigston Parking

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Wigston Parking

Wigston parking in Leicestershire is getting harder by the day. There appear to be further yellow lines, additional traffic wardens, a smaller amount free car parking and even superstores 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 Wigston. If you have established a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Wigston, then we are here to help out.

First there are 2 different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which notice you've received. If the ticket is a formal notice from Wigston council or Wigston police then you have 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 wrongly on public domain 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Wigston council or Wigston police for guidance on what to do after that. Wigston council will have comprehensive information on their website 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.

Generally they present a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

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

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

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

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions frequently in a notification displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that property. 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 for that reason entering into a contract 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 T&C's of the car park should be displayed plainly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the site, along with info about parking fees and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are properly displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may wish to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The chief divergence linking an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is zilch in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Consequently 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 giving out a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make an application for costs. The total 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 should be rational and in line with the loss suffered by the company, 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 deem there has been an oversight and you should not 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 proof 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 bear out their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this stage. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also foremost to note that, as things presently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. Therefore 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 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 prove its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting 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. As a result, 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 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 recommend 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to purchase.