Frequently asked questions
- Q: What is a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?
- Q: Who is legally responsible for a PCN?
- Q: How much should I pay?
- Q: What if I do not pay and ignore the issuing of the PCN?
- Q: How do I challenge a PCN?
- Q: What is a Notice to Owner (NTO)?
- Q: What is a formal representation?
- Q: What is Notice of Rejection?
- Q: How do I appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal?
- Q: What happens if my appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal is refused?
- Q: What happens if I do not pay after my appeal has been refused?
- Q: What happens if I do not pay following the receipt of the Charge Certificate?
- Q: My PCN was issued before the 31 March 2008, what should I do?
- Q: Role of the Police
- Q: Parking Enforcement - Useful Contacts
Q: What is a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?
A: A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is issued by a Civil Enforcement Officer to a vehicle or to the person appearing to be in charge of a vehicle which is believed to be parked in contravention of the council's Traffic Regulation Orders.
Q: Who is legally responsible for a PCN?
A: The registered keeper/owner of the vehicle is legally responsible even if they were not the driver or passenger at the time of the offence.
Q: How much should I pay?
A: The Traffic Management Act 2004 introduced the practice of differential charging. This means that there are now different parking penalties depending on the seriousness of the contravention. Lower rate contraventions are charged at £50 and higher rate contraventions at £70. This penalty charge is reduced by 50% to £25 and £35 respectively, if it is paid not later than the last day of the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which the PCN was served.
Q: What if I do not pay and ignore the issuing of the PCN?
A: If you do not pay a PCN within 14 days from the date of issue the discounted charge will no longer apply and the full charge must be paid. This will be either £50 or £70 depending on the level of the contravention. If payment remains outstanding after 28 days, a Notice To Owner is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. This provides a further period of 28 days in which to pay or make a formal representation before a charge certificate is issued. If payment still remains outstanding further charges can be added at later dates as the ticket progresses to a charge certificate stage (£75 or £105) and then registered at the County Court increasing the outstanding charge by a court registration fee. If the PCN is still not paid at this stage a warrant of execution will be granted to a bailiff for recovery. The bailiff will then add further charges for the recovery of the charge on top of the existing amount.
Q: How do I challenge a PCN?
A: All challenges must be made in writing and should include evidence as appropriate. Details of how to submit a challenge are on the reverse of the PCN. You should give a reason why you consider the PCN should not have been issued. The Council will consider your case and may then cancel the PCN or reject your challenge. If your challenge is rejected, the notification will contain details of why the challenge has been rejected, the amount now due and your opportunity to contest the issue further if you are dissatisfied with the council's response. If the challenge has been submitted during the first 14 days after the PCN was served the Council will usually re-offer the discount for a further 14 days from the date of the letter. <br />
Q: What is a Notice to Owner (NTO)?
A: A Notice to Owner is a document produced after the Council has contacted the Drivers Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to confirm the identity of the registered keeper of the vehicle. The NTO will then be sent to the registered keeper and confirm that the money is still owed. The registered keeper can then pay the amount owed, or they have the right to make formal representations contesting the Penalty Charge Notice. Details explaining how to make formal representations are supplied with the NTO.
Q: What is a formal representation?
A: When the NTO is sent to the registered keeper this document will also include the page to enable the keeper or their delegated representative to make a formal representation against the issuing of the PCN. Tick one of the boxes which gives various grounds on which to make a representation, sign the document and return to the address shown. If you wish to make a formal representation on the grounds that the vehicle was not in your ownership at the time the PCN was issued, please give details or provide evidence of proof of sale. It is also recommended that you contact the DVLA, who keep a register of all vehicle owners in the UK, to make them aware of any changes in vehicle ownership.
Q: What is Notice of Rejection?
A: If a formal representation is rejected by the Council a Notice of Rejection will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. This will provide reasons for the rejection and details of how an appeal can be made to the independant Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
Q: How do I appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal?
A: You may only appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal after representations to the council have been rejected. The Council's Notice of Rejection will give the reasons for not cancelling the PCN. You can then either pay any balance outstanding or send the completed appeal form to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, an independent organisation where an adjudicator will examine your case. The adjudicator's decision is final and binding on both the appellant and the Council. There is no charge for appealing and the penalty will not increase while the case is being considered. If you have any questions about appealing contact the Traffic Penalty Tribunal direct (0161 242 5252) or the Council's Parking Services. Further information is available at www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk
Q: What happens if my appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal is refused?
A: If your appeal is unsuccessful you will be required to pay the outstanding penalty charge within 28 days of receiving written confirmation of the adjudicator's decision.
Q: What happens if I do not pay after my appeal has been refused?
A: If payment is not received within 28 days from receipt of the adjudicator's decision, you will be issued with a Charge Cerftificate which increases the amount due by 50% and you will be requested to make payment within 14 day. You have no further right to appeal at this stage.
Q: What happens if I do not pay following the receipt of the Charge Certificate?
A: If payment is not received following the issue of the Charge Certificate, the unpaid Charge Certificate is registered as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) and a sum to cover court costs is added at this stage. An Order for Recovery will be posted as notification. If you still do not pay the debt or make a Witness Statement within 21 days, the Council may apply to the Court for a Warrant of Execution which authorises the Council to recover the unpaid amount using bailiffs, you will also be responsible for the bailiff fees.
Q: My PCN was issued before the 31 March 2008, what should I do?
A: PCNs issued before 31 March 2008 will continue to follow the legislation that was in force when the contravention took place, i.e. the Road Traffic Act 1984.
Q: Role of the Police
A: The Police are still responsible for public safety and moving traffic offences. The Police are also responsible for the enforcement of vehicles causing an obstruction in areas where there are no parking restrictions. In these instances call the Police on 0845 777 444. If you have any queries, suggestions or complaints about the car parks contact us either by email at parking.services.gov.uk or telephone 01626 215859.
Q: Parking Enforcement - Useful Contacts
A: Useful contacts