Eastwood Parking

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Eastwood Parking

Eastwood parking in Nottinghamshire is getting harder by the day. There appear to be more yellow lines, added traffic wardens, a smaller amount 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 help you with your parking in Eastwood. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Eastwood, then we are here to help.

First there are 2 distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which one you have received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Eastwood council or Eastwood police then you have been issued 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 illegally on public 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Eastwood council or Eastwood police for recommendation on what to do after that. Eastwood council will have complete instructions 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.

Generally they supply a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN should also contain comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any facts, such as a video, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Crucially, the PCN must in addition include 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 doubt as to what to do when you are given a penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to seek independent advice from the Eastwood Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Eastwood lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Eastwood solicitor.

If you have got 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 a contract with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their property.

A proprietor typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions regularly in a warning 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 an agreement with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean a set time limit, a condition to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed openly 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 obtain a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may desire to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The key divergence involving 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. Hence they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, although scores of 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 a claim for damages. The total 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 company, although 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 get back 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 offer 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 case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this point. Remember that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also important to note that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the property-owner. Thus 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 supply 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 positive 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 demonstrate 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 very 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 hard 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 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to acquire.