A to Z of services
Car parks - private
There are a number of car parks within Pendle which are owned and managed by private companies.
The Council has no control over the terms and conditions governing these private car parks or whether they charge a fee so that you can park your vehicle.
Enforcement on Private Car Parks
As from 1 October 2012, the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 [external link] introduced new rules governing parking enforcement on private land. Wheel clamping was outlawed but in its place greater powers were given to issue and pursue payment for parking tickets (known as Parking Charge Notices).
An independent organisation called POPLA (Parking On Private Land Appeals) [external link] has been created to deal with disputes over parking tickets issued by members of the British Parking Association's approved operator scheme [external link].
Tickets from non-BPA Members
Tickets issued by non-members of the British Parking Association will continue to be dealt with under contract law.
In order to enter into a contract, landowners (or their agents) must make the terms clear to the users of the car park. Signs stating the terms and conditions, including the required fee, must be clear and unambiguous, placed in conspicuous areas and should not be obscured, faded or covered up. When a driver parks his or her vehicle in a private car park, it is implied that they have accepted the offer of parking on the terms and conditions offered. A contract is formed and therefore the terms of the contract can be breached (eg by overstaying the time limit or not purchasing a pay-and-display ticket). Tickets issued are for breach of contract and the amount requested should therefore reflect the loss suffered as a result. Landowners (or their agent) cannot charge you a penalty.
If you think the ticket has been issued fairly and the amount being asked is reasonable, you should pay it as soon as possible. But never pay in cash to an enforcement contractor on the car park. However, if you feel that the ticket was issued unfairly or that the amount requested does not reflect the loss suffered, then wait to see if you receive an invoice in the post requesting payment. But don't think of a Parking Charge Notice as a "fine". It's not, and you haven't committed a criminal offence. It's simply a contractual dispute between you and the landowner (or their agent). They have no legal power to make you pay an invoice unless they take you to a county court (small claims) and the court rules in their favour.
Only parking enforcement companies which are members of the British Parking Association's approved operator scheme [external link] are allowed to obtain vehicle keepers' details from the DVLA.