Musselburgh Parking

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Musselburgh Parking

Musselburgh parking in Midlothian is getting harder by the day. There appear to be more yellow lines, added 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 Musselburgh. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Musselburgh, then we are here to lend a hand.

At the outset there are two various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is very important for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you have received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Musselburgh council or Musselburgh police then you have been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the 2 bodies are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on civic 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 should refer to the Musselburgh council or Musselburgh police for suggestion on what to do after that. Musselburgh council will have detailed information 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.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice ought to as well include transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any verification, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to confirm you committed the offence. Crucially, the PCN ought to in addition contain 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 reservation as to what to do when you receive a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to get separate opinion from the Musselburgh Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Musselburgh lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Musselburgh solicitor.

If you have received 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 pact with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their property.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions generally in a sign 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 therefore entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean 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 noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the location, along with information about parking fees 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 appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The core variance between an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is nothing in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Hence they shouldn't 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 issuing a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make a claim for compensation. 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 Citizen's Advice Bureau, this payment should be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the company, although 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 a blunder 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 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 case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this point. Remember that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also central to note that, as things currently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. So 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 vehicle, you are under no legal obligation to provide 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 look forward to 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. 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's 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 advise 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.