Stourport-on-Severn Parking

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Stourport-on-Severn Parking

Stourport-on-Severn parking in Worcestershire is getting harder by the day. There seem to be more double yellow lines, extra 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 assist you with your parking in Stourport-on-Severn. If you have established a parking fine or ticket whilst parking in Stourport-on-Severn, then we are here to help.

At the outset there are two separate types of parking ticket which are a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. It is critical for your wallet that you are unmistakable about which one you have received. If the ticket is an official notice from Stourport-on-Severn council or Stourport-on-Severn police then you've been given 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 wrongly on civic 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 should refer to the Stourport-on-Severn council or Stourport-on-Severn police for information on what to do after that. Stourport-on-Severn council will have complete directives on their website 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.

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

The Penalty Charge Notice ought to as well contain comprehensible detail of what parking violation you are accused of committing and include any support, such as a video, which is being relied upon to establish you committed the offence. Importantly, the notice should also include clear instructions of what to do if you want to dispute the fine, along with details of the appeals system and the timescales involved.

If you are in any reservation as to what to do when you are given a pcn, it is always a safe idea to get independent counsel from the Stourport-on-Severn Citizen's Advice Bureau, or a Stourport-on-Severn lawyer. The Law Society can provide details of a Stourport-on-Severn 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 agreement with a landowner to enforce any parking restrictions they choose to place on their land.

A property-owner typically supermarkets, hospitals, retail shopping centres - creates a car park or uses the one already there - they will set out restrictions usually in a sign displayed on the land which you agree to abide by when you park on that property. 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 thus entering into a deal with the business running the car park.

More often than not, such restrictions will include a set time limit, a prerequisite to pay and display or a no-return policy. The T&C's of the car park should be displayed noticeably and concisely on signs as you enter the car park and at further points across the location, along with info about parking fees 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 properly displayed at the car park in question. If you discover they are not, you may wish to write to the company to appeal the charge.

The most important difference involving an official penalty charge issued by the establishment and a parking charge issued by a private business is that there is zilch in criminal law to support a penalty or fine for parking on private land. Therefore they shouldn't be described as penalties or fines, even though numerous 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 entitlement for costs. 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 Citizen's Advice Bureau, this cost ought to be rational and in line with the loss suffered by the business, although 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 sense there has been a misunderstanding and you shouldn't 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 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 corroborate their case in court, but it is advisable to seek advice from the CAB 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 central to write down that, as things now stand, the driver of the vehicle is the only person who can enter into a contract with the property-owner. Therefore 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 provide 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 confident 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 verify its case. However you should let them know that you contest the notice as if not, you can expect 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'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 advise 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 stuff you want to acquire.