Cramlington Parking

Church | Schools

Cramlington Parking

Cramlington parking in Northumberland is getting more problematical by the day. There appear to be more yellow lines, more traffic wardens, a lesser amount 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 we can assist you with your parking in Cramlington. If you have received a parking fine or ticket whilst parking in Cramlington, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

To begin with there are two distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is very important for your wallet that you are transparent about which one you've received. If the ticket is a legitimate notice from Cramlington council or Cramlington police then you've 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 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 Cramlington council or Cramlington police for suggestion on what to do after that. Cramlington council will have meticulous instructions 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 limit.

More often than not they supply a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The Penalty Charge Notice ought to as well include plain detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any verification, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Importantly, the Penalty Charge Notice ought to also 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 uncertainty as to what to do when you obtain a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to get separate opinion from the Cramlington Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Cramlington lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Cramlington solicitor.

If you have received a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking business. A private parking business 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 landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions usually 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 include a set time limit, a prerequisite 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 location, along with info about parking charges and any ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you receive a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are correctly 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 most important 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. Hence they should not be described as penalties or fines, although various 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 property in question. According to the CAB, this payment should 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 recover a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you sense there has been a lapse 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 provide proof 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 show their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this period. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also significant to write down that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. Consequently if you weren't 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 bestow 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 convinced 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 confirm its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can look forward to a succession 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 difficult 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 purchase.