Shifnal Parking

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Shifnal Parking

Shifnal parking in Shropshire is getting more challenging by the day. There seem to be additional yellow lines, added traffic wardens, with a reduction of free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Confidently we can help you with your parking in Shifnal. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Shifnal, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

At the outset there are 2 distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is crucial for your wallet that you are clear about which one you've received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Shifnal council or Shifnal police then you have 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 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 ought to refer to the Shifnal council or Shifnal police for guidance on what to do after that. Shifnal council will have thorough information 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 limit.

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

The notice must as well contain transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any proof, such as a video, which is being relied upon to prove you committed the offence. Crucially, the PCN must in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, 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 penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to seek independent advice from the Shifnal Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Shifnal lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Shifnal 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 agreement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their terrain.

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions frequently in a notice displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that terrain. By choosing to park on the land it may be implied that you agree to these conditions, specifically if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are then entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, a necessity 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 further points across the location, along with info about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are accurately 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 concerning an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is naught in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Hence 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 giving out a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make a claim for damages. 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 rate should be affordable 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 deem there has been an oversight 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 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 period. Remember that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also worthy to note that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. Consequently 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 vehicle, 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 demonstrate its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting 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. 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 is 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 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to acquire.