Newton Stewart Parking

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Newton Stewart Parking

Newton Stewart parking in Wigtownshire is getting harder by the day. There look to be more yellow lines, more traffic wardens, a smaller amount free car parking and even superstores are now charging for you to park and shop with them...where will it all end?

With a bit of luck we can assist you with your parking in Newton Stewart. If you have received a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Newton Stewart, then we are here to assist.

At the outset there are two separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is very important for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which notice you've received. If the ticket is a formal notice from Newton Stewart council or Newton Stewart police then you've 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 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 Penalty Charge Notice issued by a council or police force then you ought to refer to the Newton Stewart council or Newton Stewart police for opinion on what to do after that. Newton Stewart council will have thorough 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.

By and large they supply a markdown (how nice of them) if you pay within a set period of time.

The Penalty Charge Notice should in addition include unmistakable detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any facts, such as a video, which is being relied upon to show you committed the offence. Significantly, the Penalty Charge Notice must 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 reservation as to what to do when you pick up a pcn, it is always a nice idea to seek independent advice from the Newton Stewart Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Newton Stewart lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Newton Stewart 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 agreement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their terrain.

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

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise a set time limit, a prerequisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The terms and conditions of the car park should be displayed obviously and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at additional points across the site, along with information about parking charges and any consequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you should check that these terms are appropriately 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 core differentiation concerning an official penalty charge issued by the authorities 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. Therefore they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, although many 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 damages. The quantity they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the CAB, this rate should be sensible and in line with the loss suffered by the company, even though extreme 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 sense 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 make available proof 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 corroborate their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor before things get to this period. Remember that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also worthy to write down that, as things currently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the landlord. Thus if you were not the person driving you may wish to inform the parking company of this straight 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 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 confirm its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on a succession 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 reasonable.

The bottom line is it's 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 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 purchase.