Parkgate Parking

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Parkgate Parking

Parkgate parking in South Yorkshire is getting more testing by the day. There appear to be additional yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, less 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 Parkgate. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Parkgate, then we are here to help.

First there are two different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are clear about which notice you've received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from Parkgate council or Parkgate police then you have been given 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 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Parkgate council or Parkgate police for assistance on what to do after that. Parkgate council will have complete 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 frame.

By and large they make available a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN ought to as well contain plain detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any evidence, such as a video, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Crucially, the Penalty Charge Notice ought to 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 pick up a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to get separate advice from the Parkgate Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Parkgate lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Parkgate 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 a contract with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their ground.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions generally in a sign 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are for that reason entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, a condition to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed obviously and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra points across the location, along with information about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you should 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 key disparity relating an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is nothing in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Therefore they should not be described as penalties or fines, even though scores of 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 compensation. The total 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 rate should be realistic 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you deem there has been a mistake and you should not 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 confirmation 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 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. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also crucial to note that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. Thus 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 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 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 prove its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on 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. 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 prove 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 buy.