Faringdon Parking

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Faringdon Parking

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

Hopefully we can help you with your parking in Faringdon. If you have established a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Faringdon, then we are here to assist.

To start with there are two different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which one you've received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Faringdon council or Faringdon police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the 2 bodies are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on municipal 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 Faringdon council or Faringdon police for assistance on what to do after that. Faringdon council will have complete advice on their website 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.

Customarily they afford a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The notice ought to as well contain clear detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any facts, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Crucially, the Penalty Charge Notice must in addition contain 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 uncertainty as to what to do when you receive a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to seek independent advice from the Faringdon Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Faringdon lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Faringdon 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 landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their land.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions customarily 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 then entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will involve a set time limit, a requisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the location, along with info about parking fees 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 properly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may want to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The chief distinction between an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is zilch in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. For that reason they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though numerous 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 application for costs. The quantity they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the land in question. According to the CAB, this payment should be fair and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though 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 feel there has been a lapse and you should not 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 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 point. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also crucial to note that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. Consequently if you were not 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 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 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 prove its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on a string 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to purchase.