East Preston Parking

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East Preston Parking

East Preston parking in West Sussex is getting harder by the day. There look to be more yellow lines, added 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 any luck we can help you with your parking in East Preston. If you have established a parking ticket or fine whilst parking in East Preston, then we are here to assist.

To start with there are 2 different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is essential for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which one you've received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from East Preston council or East Preston 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 wrongly on public 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the East Preston council or East Preston police for information on what to do after that. East Preston council will have meticulous instructions 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.

Frequently they make available a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The PCN must as well contain transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any confirmation, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to establish you committed the offence. Crucially, 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 process and the timescales involved.

If you are in any uncertainty as to what to do when you collect a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to get separate opinion from the East Preston Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a East Preston lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a East Preston solicitor.

If you have received 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 arrangement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions they choose 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 more often than not 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, specifically if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are for that reason entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean 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 site, along with information about parking fees and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you receive a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are appropriately 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 core distinction linking an official penalty charge issued by the authorities 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 shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, although countless 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 damages. 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 rate should be realistic 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 recover a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been an error 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 make available 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 confirm their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this stage. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to corroborate 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 landlord. So 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 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 convinced 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 confirm its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can be expecting 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 just.

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 purchase.