Dudley Parking

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Dudley Parking

Dudley parking in West Midlands is getting more testing by the day. There look to be more yellow lines, additional traffic wardens, a reduced amount of free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

Hopefully uk comprehensive can help you with your parking in Dudley. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Dudley, then we are here to assist.

First there are two separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are transparent about which one you have received. If the ticket is an official notice from Dudley council or Dudley police then you have been given 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 civic property. 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 Dudley council or Dudley police for opinion on what to do next. Dudley council will have comprehensive directives on their website 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.

By and large they supply a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The PCN must as well include plain detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any indication, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to prove you committed the offence. Crucially, the PCN must also include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, 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 pick up a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to seek independent guidance from the Dudley Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Dudley lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Dudley 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 an agreement with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their ground.

A landlord typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the existing one - they will set out restrictions frequently in a notification 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, specifically if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are as a result entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a prerequisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed visibly 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 obtain a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main divergence relating an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is not anything 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 scores 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 costs. The sum they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you created when you parked on the land in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this rate should be realistic and in line with the loss suffered by the company, 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 sense there has been a lapse and you shouldn't 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 give 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 bear out their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this point. Remember that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also central 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 landlord. Therefore if you weren't the person driving you may wish to inform the parking company of this straight 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 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 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 succession 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 difficult for these companies to demonstrate 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 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the stuff you want to purchase.