Rothbury Parking

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Rothbury Parking

Rothbury parking in Northumberland is getting harder by the day. There look to be more double yellow lines, additional traffic wardens, less free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With a bit of luck we can help you with your parking in Rothbury. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Rothbury, then we are here to help out.

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 an authoritative notice from Rothbury council or Rothbury police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies are allowed to issue PCN's and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on civic land. 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 Rothbury council or Rothbury police for instruction on what to do after that. Rothbury 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.

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

The notice must in addition include comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any corroboration, such as a video, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Significantly, the notice ought to in addition 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 uncertainty as to what to do when you obtain a pcn, it is always a nice idea to get separate opinion from the Rothbury Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Rothbury lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Rothbury 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 an agreement with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their land.

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

More often than not, such restrictions will involve a set time limit, an obligation 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 further points across the site, along with information about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you receive 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 want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The most important variance relating an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is not anything in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Therefore they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though scores 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 a claim for compensation. The sum they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the property in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this payment should be rational and in line with the loss suffered by the business, 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 claim 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 want to dispute the charge with the parking company as soon as possible. You should ask them to give 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 show 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. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also of great consequence to write down that, as things now exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. 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 vehicle, you are under no legal obligation to provide 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 certain 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 prove its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can expect 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 just.

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 advise 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 things you want to buy.