Trowbridge Parking

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Trowbridge Parking

Trowbridge parking in Wiltshire is getting harder by the day. There seem to be further double yellow lines, added traffic wardens, with a reduction 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 Trowbridge. If you have established a parking ticket or fine at the same time as parking in Trowbridge, then we are here to lend a hand.

First of all there are 2 separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice. It is fundamental for your wallet that you are transparent about which one you have received. If the ticket is a formal notice from Trowbridge council or Trowbridge 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 property. 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 should refer to the Trowbridge council or Trowbridge police for recommendation on what to do next. Trowbridge council will have comprehensive instructions on their web pages 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.

As a rule they afford a discount (how nice of them) if you pay within a certain time frame.

The notice ought to as well contain transparent detail of what parking violation you are accused of doing and contain any confirmation, such as a photograph, which is being relied upon to prove you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice should also include 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 obtain a pcn, it is always a safe idea to get separate counsel from the Trowbridge Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Trowbridge lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Trowbridge 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 an agreement with a landlord to enforce any parking restrictions he or she chooses to place on their land.

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

More often than not, such restrictions will comprise 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 noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at extra points across the site, along with info about parking charges and any subsequent charges which could be incurred for failing to comply. If you obtain a parking charge notice you ought to check that these terms are accurately displayed at the car park in question. If you find they are not, you may want to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The main disparity involving an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private company is that there is not anything 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 numerous 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 total they ask for is to compensate for you breaching the contract you formed when you parked on the land in question. According to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, this payment should be rational and in line with the loss suffered by the business, 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 suppose 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 provide 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 demonstrate their argument in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB or a solicitor before things get to this stage. Take into account that the parking operator has to prove its case on the balance of probabilities.

It is also foremost to note that, as things presently exist, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the proprietor. As a result 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 car, 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 bear out its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can count on a progression 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 reasonable.

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 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 stuff you want to purchase.