Penicuik Parking

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Penicuik Parking

Penicuik parking in Midlothian is getting harder by the day. There seem to be more yellow lines, additional 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 a bit of luck uk comprehensive can help you with your parking in Penicuik. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Penicuik, then we are here to lend a hand.

First there are 2 separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you've received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Penicuik council or Penicuik police then you have been given 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 illegally on municipal land. 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Penicuik council or Penicuik police for guidance on what to do next. Penicuik council will have comprehensive 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 frame.

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

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

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you obtain a penalty charge notice, it is always a good idea to seek independent advice from the Penicuik Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Penicuik lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Penicuik 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 pact with a landlord 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 ordinarily in a warning 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 consequently entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, an obligation to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed clearly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the site, along with info about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you be given a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The chief variance relating an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is naught 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 many 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 compensation. The quantity 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 cost ought to be acceptable and in line with the loss suffered by the company, 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 claim a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been a misunderstanding and you shouldn't 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 make available confirmation 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 demonstrate their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this point. Take into account that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also of the essence to note that, as things currently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. Therefore if you weren't 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 bestow 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 convinced 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 verify its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can anticipate a succession 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 is going to be very difficult for these companies to show 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.