Meltham Parking

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Meltham Parking

Meltham parking in West Yorkshire is getting more challenging by the day. There seem to be further yellow lines, extra traffic wardens, less free car parking and even supermarkets are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With any luck uk comprehensive can assist you with your parking in Meltham. If you have established a parking fine or ticket at the same time as parking in Meltham, then we are here to make your life a bit easier.

To begin with there are two distinct types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is fundamental for your wallet that you are transparent about which notice you've received. If the ticket is an endorsed notice from Meltham council or Meltham police then you have been issued 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 illegally on municipal 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 should refer to the Meltham council or Meltham police for recommendation on what to do after that. Meltham council will have detailed advice 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 make available a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The Penalty Charge Notice should also include transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and include any proof, such as a video, which is being relied upon to corroborate you committed the offence. Importantly, the Penalty Charge Notice should 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 doubt as to what to do when you pick up a penalty charge notice, it is always a nice idea to get independent advice from the Meltham Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Meltham lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Meltham 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 an understanding with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their ground.

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions regularly in a notice 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 then entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will mean a set time limit, a requirement 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 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 appropriately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they aren't, you may wish to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The core distinction relating an official penalty charge issued by the authorities and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is nothing in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Consequently 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 issuing a Parking Charge Notice, the parking operator is relying on the law of contract to make a claim for compensation. The sum 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 payment should be realistic 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 salvage a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you suppose there has been a blunder and you should not have been issued a ticket, you may wish to dispute the charge with the parking company as soon as possible. You should ask them to give confirmation 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 Citizens Advice Bureau 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 important to note that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the solitary person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. For that reason 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 car, 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 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 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. 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 hard 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 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 easy to miss when you are busy thinking of all the things you want to acquire.