Chichester Parking

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Chichester Parking

Chichester parking in West Sussex is getting more problematical by the day. There appear to be additional yellow lines, more traffic wardens, a lesser amount of free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

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

To start with there are two distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is crucial for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which notice you've received. If the ticket is a bureaucratic notice from Chichester council or Chichester police then you've been given 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 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 non-payment of the fines.

If you have received a PCN issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Chichester council or Chichester police for instruction on what to do next. Chichester 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 implicated if you fail to pay within the time limit.

Typically they supply a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The PCN should also include transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any data, such as a video, which is being relied upon to establish you committed the offence. Crucially, the Penalty Charge Notice ought to 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 are given a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to seek independent advice from the Chichester Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Chichester lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Chichester solicitor.

If you have got a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking business. A private parking company is an organisation which has entered into an understanding with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their terrain.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions typically 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are as a result entering into an agreement with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean 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 noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the location, along with information about parking charges 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 properly displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may want to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The chief differentiation involving an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is zilch 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 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 an application for costs. 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 Citizen's Advice Bureau, this cost ought to be rational and in line with the loss suffered by the business, 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 an error 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 offer evidence 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 show 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 prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also foremost to write down that, as things presently stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. 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 vehicle, you are under no legal obligation to impart 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 convinced 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 corroborate its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can look forward to 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. 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 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 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 straightforward to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to acquire.