Bourne Parking

Church | Schools

Bourne Parking

Bourne parking in Lincolnshire is getting more testing by the day. There seem to be additional yellow lines, additional traffic wardens, less 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 Bourne. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Bourne, then we are here to lend a hand.

To begin with there are two distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you have received. If the ticket is a legitimate notice from Bourne council or Bourne police then you've been issued a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the Police and the Council are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on municipal property. 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Bourne council or Bourne police for opinion on what to do after that. Bourne council will have meticulous advice 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 limit.

By and large they afford a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN must as well 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 corroborate you committed the offence. Significantly, the PCN ought to in addition contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals procedure and the timescales involved.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you obtain a pcn, it is always a good idea to seek separate opinion from the Bourne Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Bourne lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Bourne 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 an understanding with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their ground.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions regularly in a sign 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are thus entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a requirement to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed obviously and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the site, along with information about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you pick up a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are properly 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 core disparity concerning an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is not anything 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 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 entitlement for compensation. 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 should be rational and in line with the loss suffered by the company, although excessive 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 recover a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think 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 provide 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 stage. Remember that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also of the essence 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 car, you are under no legal obligation to supply 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 assured 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 prove its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can look forward to 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. 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it is going to be very hard 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to buy.