Carshalton Parking

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Carshalton Parking

Carshalton parking in Surrey is getting harder by the day. There look to be more double yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, less free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With any luck we can assist you with your parking in Carshalton. If you have established a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Carshalton, then we are here to help.

Firstly there are two 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 transparent about which notice you have received. If the ticket is an official notice from Carshalton council or Carshalton 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 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 Carshalton council or Carshalton police for guidance on what to do next. Carshalton council will have comprehensive information 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.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice must also contain clear detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any data, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice ought to also contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals process 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 seek independent guidance from the Carshalton Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Carshalton lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Carshalton solicitor.

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

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 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 thus entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a requirement 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 further points across the location, along with info about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The chief variance involving 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. For that reason they should not be described as penalties or fines, although lots 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 amount they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the property in question. According to the CAB, this charge should be sensible and in line with the loss suffered by the business, even though 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 have reason 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 evidence 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 argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this period. Remember that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also imperative to note that, as things currently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. Therefore 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 supply 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 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 verify its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on 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. 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's going to be very hard 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 advise 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 stuff you want to purchase.