Helmsdale Parking

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Helmsdale Parking

Helmsdale parking in Sutherland is getting harder by the day. There appear to be additional yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, with a reduction of free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With a bit of luck uk comprehensive can assist you with your parking in Helmsdale. If you have received a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Helmsdale, then we are here to lend a hand.

At the outset there are two separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is fundamental for your wallet that you are clear about which notice you have received. If the ticket is a formal notice from Helmsdale council or Helmsdale 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 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you should refer to the Helmsdale council or Helmsdale police for instruction on what to do next. Helmsdale council will have complete directives on their website 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 grant a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The Penalty Charge Notice ought to also include transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and contain any corroboration, such as a video, which is being relied upon to prove 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 reservation as to what to do when you receive a penalty charge notice, it is always a safe idea to seek separate guidance from the Helmsdale Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Helmsdale lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Helmsdale solicitor.

If you have got 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 a union with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their terrain.

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions commonly in a warning 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are therefore entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, an obligation to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the site, along with information about parking fees and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you pick up a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they aren't, you may desire to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The chief difference between an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is nothing in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Hence 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 entitlement 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 charge should be affordable and in line with the loss suffered by the company, 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 get back a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you feel there has been a misunderstanding 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 provide 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 demonstrate their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this point. Bear in mind 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 currently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the property-owner. As a result 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 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 prove its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can anticipate 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 fair.

The bottom line is it is going to be very hard for these companies to confirm 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 things you want to purchase.