Leiston Parking

Church | Schools

Leiston Parking

Leiston parking in Suffolk is getting harder by the day. There seem to be more double yellow lines, additional traffic wardens, a smaller amount free car parking and even superstores 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 Leiston. If you have received a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Leiston, then we are here to help.

First of all there are two separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is imperative for your wallet that you are clear about which one you have received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from Leiston council or Leiston police then you have been issued a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the Police and the Council are allowed to issue PCN's 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 non-payment of the fines.

If you have received a Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Leiston council or Leiston police for opinion on what to do next. Leiston council will have thorough instructions 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.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice should also include obvious detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any support, such as a video, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Significantly, the Penalty Charge Notice should in addition contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals procedure and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you receive a pcn, it is always a good idea to seek separate advice from the Leiston Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Leiston lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Leiston solicitor.

If you have got 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 an agreement with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their property.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions regularly in a notification displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that property. 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 involve a set time limit, an obligation to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed clearly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the site, along with information 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 desire to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The major difference between an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is zilch in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. For that reason they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though many 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 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 Citizen's Advice Bureau, this charge ought to be sensible 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 get back a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been a blunder 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 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 show their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also crucial to write down that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. Consequently 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 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 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 demonstrate its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting a string 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. 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it's going to be very difficult 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 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to acquire.