Hebburn Parking

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Hebburn Parking

Hebburn parking in Tyne and Wear is getting more difficult by the day. There look to be more double yellow lines, more traffic wardens, a lesser amount of 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 Hebburn. If you have received a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Hebburn, then we are here to help out.

First there are 2 various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are clear about which one you have received. If the ticket is an authoritative notice from Hebburn council or Hebburn police then you have been given a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking wrongly on public domain land. 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 Hebburn council or Hebburn police for suggestion on what to do next. Hebburn council will have thorough information 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.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice should in addition include comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any support, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Importantly, the Penalty Charge Notice should in addition include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the penalty, along with details of the appeals modus operandi 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 opinion from the Hebburn Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Hebburn lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Hebburn 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 a union with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their land.

A proprietor typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions ordinarily 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 therefore entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include 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 plainly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at other points across the location, 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 should 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 major disparity 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. Consequently they should not be described as penalties or fines, even though countless 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 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 ought to 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 claim a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been a lapse 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 argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this phase. Take into account that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also foremost to note that, as things now exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landowner. Thus 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 vehicle, 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 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 demonstrate 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it is going to be very difficult 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 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 stuff you want to purchase.