Knaresborough Parking

Church | Schools

Knaresborough Parking

Knaresborough parking in North Yorkshire is getting more difficult by the day. There seem to be further yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, a lesser amount of free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With any luck we can assist you with your parking in Knaresborough. If you have established a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Knaresborough, then we are here to help out.

First there are two separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are clear about which notice you've received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from Knaresborough council or Knaresborough 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 illegally 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Knaresborough council or Knaresborough police for advice on what to do next. Knaresborough council will have thorough directives on their web pages outlining how long you have got to pay the fine, how to pay the fine and the penalties implicated if you fail to pay within the time frame.

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

The notice ought to also include obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any support, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to demonstrate you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice should also contain 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 reservation as to what to do when you receive a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to seek separate advice from the Knaresborough Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Knaresborough lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Knaresborough solicitor.

If you have got a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking company. A private parking company is an organisation which has entered into an understanding with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their property.

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 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are therefore entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will involve a set time limit, a condition 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 additional points across the site, along with info about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you ought to 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 chief disparity between an official penalty charge issued by the establishment 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. Therefore they should not be described as penalties or fines, although lots of 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 amount they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the CAB, this rate should be sensible 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you sense there has been a blunder and you shouldn't 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 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 confirm their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Take into account that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also imperative to note that, as things presently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. As a result 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 car, you are under no legal obligation to impart 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 confident 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 bear out its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can expect a series 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 just.

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 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to acquire.