Farnham Parking

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Farnham Parking

Farnham parking in Surrey is getting more problematical by the day. There seem to be additional yellow lines, added traffic wardens, less 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 uk comprehensive can help you with your parking in Farnham. If you have established a parking fine or ticket whilst parking in Farnham, then we are here to assist.

To begin with there are 2 separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is vital for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you have received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Farnham council or Farnham police then you've been issued 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 public domain 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 Farnham council or Farnham police for assistance on what to do after that. Farnham council will have detailed 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 limit.

Regularly they provide a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The PCN should as well contain transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any support, such as a video, which is being relied upon to demonstrate you committed the offence. Importantly, 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 procedure and the timescales involved.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do when you get a penalty charge notice, it is always a good idea to get independent advice from the Farnham Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Farnham lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Farnham 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 arrangement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their land.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions ordinarily in a sign 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, specifically if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are thus entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a condition to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed visibly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra points across the location, along with info about parking charges and any ensuing charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you collect a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are properly 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 most important differentiation linking 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. Consequently they should not be described as penalties or fines, even though various 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 costs. The total 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 should be sensible and in line with the loss suffered by the company, although excessive 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been an error 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 provide 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 confirm their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this stage. Remember that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also of the essence to note that, as things now exist, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the property-owner. So if you were not 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 bestow 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 certain 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 prove its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting a series 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 fair.

The bottom line is it's going to be very hard for these companies to show 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 acquire.