Beeston Parking

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Beeston Parking

Beeston parking in Nottinghamshire is getting more difficult by the day. There seem to be additional double yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, a reduced 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 a bit of luck we can help you with your parking in Beeston. If you have established a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Beeston, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

Firstly there are two distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you have received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Beeston council or Beeston police then you have been issued a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the Police and the Council are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on public domain 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 Beeston council or Beeston police for advice on what to do next. Beeston council will have detailed information on their website 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.

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

The notice should as well contain comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any support, such as a video, which is being relied upon to prove you committed the offence. Importantly, the Penalty Charge Notice should in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals system and the timescales involved.

If you are in any reservation as to what to do when you get a pcn, it is always a safe idea to get separate opinion from the Beeston Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Beeston lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Beeston solicitor.

If you have got a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking business. A private parking company is an organisation which has entered into an arrangement with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their ground.

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 notice 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 as a result entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, a requisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed visibly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the location, along with information about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you be given a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The most important divergence between 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. Consequently they should not be described as penalties or fines, even though countless 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 an entitlement for damages. 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 CAB, this cost should be reasonable and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though extreme 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 have reason there has been a mistake 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 make available 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 case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this stage. Take into account that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also vital to note that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the property-owner. 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 car, 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 certain 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 verify its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting a progression 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 fair.

The bottom line is it's 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 recommend 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 stuff you want to acquire.