Arundel Parking

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Arundel Parking

Arundel parking in West Sussex is getting more problematical by the day. There seem to be further double yellow lines, extra 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?

With any luck we can help you with your parking in Arundel. If you have received a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in Arundel, then we are here to help.

Firstly there are two various types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is imperative for your wallet that you are transparent about which one you've received. If the ticket is an official notice from Arundel council or Arundel 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 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 Arundel council or Arundel police for instruction on what to do next. Arundel council will have comprehensive advice 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.

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

The PCN ought to in addition contain unmistakable detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any facts, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Significantly, the Penalty Charge Notice should in addition contain clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals method 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 seek independent advice from the Arundel Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Arundel lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Arundel solicitor.

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

A proprietor 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 property. 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 involve 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 visibly and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the location, along with info about parking fees and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you receive a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may desire to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The chief difference between an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is not anything in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Hence they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though 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 an application for costs. The total they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the property in question. According to the CAB, this rate ought to be rational 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you suppose there has been an oversight 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 provide evidence 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 case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this stage. Take into account that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also significant to write down that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the property-owner. Thus 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 vehicle, 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 positive 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 bear out its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can anticipate a progression 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 fair.

The bottom line is it is 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to buy.