Stone Parking

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Stone Parking

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

Confidently uk comprehensive can help you with your parking in Stone. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Stone, then we are here to help.

To start with there are 2 various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are clear about which notice you've received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Stone council or Stone police then you've been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the Police and the Council are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on civic 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Stone council or Stone police for instruction on what to do after that. Stone council will have complete instructions on their web pages 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.

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

The notice should also include transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any evidence, 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 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 pcn, it is always a safe idea to get separate counsel from the Stone Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Stone lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Stone solicitor.

If you have got a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking company. A private parking company is an organisation which has entered into a pact with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their land.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions ordinarily in a notice displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that land. 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 as a result entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, a requisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed plainly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the site, along with info about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The core difference concerning an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is not anything 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 scores 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 application for compensation. The quantity they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this cost ought to be realistic and in line with the loss suffered by the company, 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 believe 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 make available 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 corroborate 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. Take into account that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also of great consequence to write down that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. So 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 assured 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 verify 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 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it is 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 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to buy.