Rugeley Parking

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Rugeley Parking

Rugeley parking in Staffordshire is getting more challenging by the day. There seem to be additional double yellow lines, extra 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 assist you with your parking in Rugeley. If you have received a parking fine or ticket whilst parking in Rugeley, 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 and a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you've received. If the ticket is a legitimate notice from Rugeley council or Rugeley police then you have been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally 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 ought to refer to the Rugeley council or Rugeley police for counsel on what to do after that. Rugeley council will have meticulous 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.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice should in addition include clear detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any facts, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Crucially, the notice ought to also contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals process and the timescales involved.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you receive a pcn, it is always a nice idea to get independent advice from the Rugeley Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Rugeley lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Rugeley solicitor.

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

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions typically 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 therefore entering into an agreement with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, an obligation to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed clearly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the location, along with info about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you be given a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are properly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main differentiation 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. Hence they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though loads 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 amount they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the land in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this payment should be reasonable and in line with the loss suffered by the business, 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you have reason there has been a mistake 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 give 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 prove their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Remember that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also foremost to note that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. So 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 vehicle, 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 assured 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 confirm 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. 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 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 get in touch with 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.