Crewkerne Parking

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Crewkerne Parking

Crewkerne parking in Somerset is getting harder by the day. There seem to be additional yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, less free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With a bit of luck uk comprehensive can help you with your parking in Crewkerne. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Crewkerne, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

To start with there are two distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is fundamental for your wallet that you are clear about which notice you have received. If the ticket is a formal notice from Crewkerne council or Crewkerne police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the 2 bodies are allowed to issue PCN's 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 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 Crewkerne council or Crewkerne police for advice on what to do next. Crewkerne council will have detailed instructions 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.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice should as well contain transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any facts, such as a video, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Crucially, the notice must also contain 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 uncertainty as to what to do when you receive a penalty charge notice, it is always a good idea to get independent advice from the Crewkerne Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Crewkerne lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Crewkerne solicitor.

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

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions usually 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, 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 include a set time limit, a requirement 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 other points across the site, along with information about parking fees and any ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main distinction linking an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is naught in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Therefore they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, although lots 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 an entitlement for costs. The sum they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the CAB, this charge ought to be rational and in line with the loss suffered by the company, although 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 deem 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 give proof 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 demonstrate their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB 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 vital 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 landowner. As a result if you weren't 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 impart 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 corroborate its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can expect a string 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 is going to be very hard 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 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.