Sowerby Bridge Parking

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Sowerby Bridge Parking

Sowerby Bridge parking in West Yorkshire is getting more challenging by the day. There appear to be further double 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?

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

Firstly there are 2 different types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is fundamental for your wallet that you are clear about which notice you have received. If the ticket is an official notice from Sowerby Bridge council or Sowerby Bridge police then you have been issued a PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN). Only the two bodies are allowed to issue Penalty Charge Notices and it means that you are being fined for parking illegally on public domain 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 PCN issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Sowerby Bridge council or Sowerby Bridge police for recommendation on what to do after that. Sowerby Bridge council will have thorough instructions 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 frame.

Frequently they present a reduction (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The notice should also include comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any data, such as a video, which is being relied upon to verify you committed the offence. Crucially, the Penalty Charge Notice should in addition include 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 doubt as to what to do when you are given a pcn, it is always a nice idea to get separate opinion from the Sowerby Bridge Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Sowerby Bridge lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Sowerby Bridge solicitor.

If you have got a Parking Charge Notice then you have received this from a private parking company. A private parking business 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 land.

A landowner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions ordinarily in a notice 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, particularly if the notice is clear and prominently displayed and you are consequently entering into a contract with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will involve a set time limit, a requisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra points across the site, along with information about parking fees and any subsequent 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 desire to write to the business to appeal the charge.

The key disparity concerning an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is naught 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 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 a claim for damages. 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 cost should be fair 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 claim a parking charge from you without first taking you to court, so if you think there has been a misunderstanding and you shouldn't 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 make available 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 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 phase. Bear in mind that the parking operator has to corroborate its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also central to note that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. Thus 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 impart the parking operator with any further information, 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 certain 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 be expecting a series 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 hard for these companies to confirm 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 things you want to buy.