Denny Parking

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Denny Parking

Denny parking in Stirlingshire is getting more challenging by the day. There seem to be further yellow lines, more 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?

With a bit of luck we can assist you with your parking in Denny. If you have received a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Denny, then we are here to help out.

At the outset there are two separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are clear about which one you've received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Denny council or Denny 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 wrongly on public property. 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 should refer to the Denny council or Denny police for recommendation on what to do next. Denny council will have meticulous directives on their web pages outlining how long you have got to pay the fine, how to pay the fine and the penalties implicated if you fail to pay within the time limit.

More often than not they make available a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The notice must in addition include clear detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any support, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to confirm you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice must also contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals method and the timescales involved.

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

If you have received 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 an arrangement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their land.

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions typically in a warning 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 necessity 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 additional points across the site, along with information about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you pick up a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are correctly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may wish to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The core divergence relating an official penalty charge issued by the establishment 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 should not be described as penalties or fines, although 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 quantity 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 rational and in line with the loss suffered by the business, 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 claim a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been a blunder 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 confirmation of their case 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 bear out their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this period. Take into account that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also vital to note that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. Therefore 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 car, you are under no legal obligation to bestow 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 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 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 demonstrate 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 acquire.