‘Parking fines’ and ‘parking tickets’ are common terms for Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), which are served upon vehicles observed in contravention of on-street or off-street parking management regulations, more commonly referred to as ‘parked illegally’.
Drivers receiving a PCN must pay the penalty charge due, or there is an opportunity to ‘appeal’ its serving and details of how to proceed are detailed on the reverse of the PCN.
It is advisable drivers refer to the Department for Transport's publications before submitting an ‘appeal’ to be sure they were not parked in contravention of the regulations. Helpful publications include The Highway Code, Know your traffic signs, and Blue Badge Holders should read The Blue Badge scheme: Rights and responsibilities in England booklet which will have been issued with the Blue Badge and states where and how the badge can be used.
PCN ‘appeals’ will be considered on their individual circumstances, and the Council, as the Enforcement Authority, may re-offer the fourteen-day discount period for a 'challenge' received within fourteen days beginning with the date on which the PCN was served, should the challenge be rejected.
If a penalty charge is not paid or the PCN successfully challenged within the period of twenty-eight days (the payment period) beginning with the date on which the PCN was served, the Council (as or acting on behalf of the Enforcement Authority) will serve by first class post a Notice to Owner (NtO) to the owner of the vehicle requesting payment of the penalty charge.
Owners receiving an NtO may make a 'representation' against it on the grounds specified in 4(4) of the Regulations by returning the completed and signed NtO or submit a representation online. A Notice of Acceptance will be issued and the penalty charge cancelled should a representation be accepted. A Notice of Rejection will be issued should a representation be rejected and the 'owner' must then either pay the penalty charge due or submit an appeal to the independent adjudication service.
Should all stages be passed without payment or 'appeal', the final stage of the legislative process is for the Council to apply to the statutory designated County Court in order to recover the charge under a 'Warrant of Control' using Enforcement Agents (Bailiffs). Further fees will be applied by the Enforcement Agent in accordance with legislation to cover the cost of the recovery of the debt under the Warrant of Control.
PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London) provides information and FAQs about PCNs and the applicable legislative process. PATROL also has a statutory duty to make provision for the independent adjudication service for parking and traffic penalty charges served under the Traffic Management Act 2004. This is carried out through the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT), which comprises solicitors, barristers and their support staff.