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Car parking penalties and appeals

If you park a vehicle in one of our pay and display car parks without displaying a valid ticket, or you do not comply with our car park conditions of use, you may be liable to pay a parking penalty in the form of an excess charge notice.

  • The excess charge for vehicles under 3.5 tonnes is £80.
  • The excess charge for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes is £200.

There is a discount for early payment if the excess charge is paid within 14 days of the issue of an excess charge notice.

Failure to pay an excess charge is an offence under Section 35A of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and may result in you being taken to the Magistrates Court, where further costs and a fine may become payable.

How to avoid a parking penalty

  • Remember to buy a ticket and check that it is correctly displayed so that its details are face up and can be easily seen, through the windscreen, by a parking attendant.
  • Ensure that the ticket will cover the length of your stay. If you are likely to be delayed (by an appointment for example) then it makes sense to buy a ticket for a longer period, rather than take the chance of an excess charge notice, or to use the cashless alternative, where you can top up your parking time remotely, if you need to.
  • Make sure that you are parked within one of the marked bays (where applicable).
  • If your vehicle is too big and cannot fit within one standard parking bay then you will need to purchase two tickets.
  • Disabled bays in council car parks are only for vehicles displaying a valid Blue Badge and a valid pay and display ticket.

Blue Badge holders

Parking concessions provided under the Blue Badge scheme only apply to on-street parking and do not apply to off-street car parks that the council provides.

Normal tariffs apply to Blue Badge holders but with double the time purchased (up to the daily maximum tariff time) when a valid pay and display ticket is displayed alongside a valid Blue Badge.

Reasons why an excess charge notice is issued

  • No ticket is displayed, the ticket is not displayed clearly, the ticket has expired or the ticket has been transferred from another vehicle or car park.
  • No valid permit is displayed for the car park or it has expired.
  • No valid season ticket is displayed for the car park or it has expired.
  • The vehicle is not parked wholly within a marked bay.
  • The vehicle is parked in an area where vehicles are not allowed to park (e.g. on double yellow lines).
  • The vehicle is parked in a disabled bay without displaying a valid Blue Badge and valid pay and display ticket.
  • The vehicle is the wrong class for the car park.

What to do if you receive an excess charge notice

  • Option 1 – accept the charge and pay within 14 days at the discounted rate.
  • Option 2 – accept the  charge and pay after 14 days at the higher rate.
  • Option 3 – appeal the ticket because you believe it was issued in error.

Paying your Excess Charge Notice

Excess Charge Notices can be paid online, by telephone using your debit or credit card or by post.

If you are posting a cheque to us, please make your cheque payable to East Suffolk Council, write the excess charge reference number on the reverse and send to our postal address

How to appeal against an excess charge notice

You can challenge a parking ticket using our online excess charge appeal form  or you can write to us if you believe:

  • the ticket should not have been issued or
  • that there are special reasons why the ticket should be cancelled

There are three stages in the appeal process:

Stage 1 – we will consider appeals against our parking policies and take account of any mitigating circumstances that are supplied. We aim to respond within 21 days of receipt of the appeal.

If we accept the appeal the case will be closed, the excess charge is cancelled and there is nothing to pay.

If we reject the appeal, the excess charge will need to be paid. If the appeal was received within the discount period we will re-offer the discount for a further 14 days. If the appeal was received after the end of the discount period the higher amount of the excess charge will need to be paid.

Stage 2 – If the appellant disagrees with the decision at stage 1, they can ask for it to be reviewed by a manager at stage 2. The manager will review all the evidence and reach a final decision. If we accept the appeal the case will be closed, the excess charge is cancelled and there is nothing to pay. If we reject the appeal the fine will need to be paid in full.

Stage 3 – This appeal will be considered by the council's Head of Operations and will only be applicable if new evidence can be submitted that would significantly alter the way your earlier appeal was handled. This decision will be final and will result in either the appeal being accepted and the excess charge being cancelled or a requirement for the fine to be paid in full. Failure to pay the fine will result in the case being referred to the Magistrate’s Court.

Magistrates Court – If the appellant does not accept our final appeal decision or they refuse to pay the fine, the case can be referred to the Magistrate’s Court who will hear the case on the evidence provided. The Court’s decision is final and legally binding on both parties.