Challenge a PCN
By law, all challenges to Penalty Charge Notices must be made in writing, which can be by e-mail using our online form, or by sending a letter in the post.
There are a number of stages to the challenge process:
1. Informal Challenge
You can make an informal challenge up to 28 days after the PCN is issued.
2. Formal representation
If you do not pay or challenge your PCN within the first 28 days after the PCN is issued, we will issue a written reminder called a 'Notice to Owner' providing the option to either pay the PCN or make a formal representation.
3. Parking appeals
If you have made a formal representation and it has been rejected by the Council, you can make an appeal to an independent Parking Adjudicator at the Traffic and Parking Appeals Service to have the decision reviewed.
Consideration of Challenges
We will consider any written challenge submitted against the issue of a PCN up until the issue of a Charge Certificate.
A PCN will be cancelled upon challenge if we are satisfied that a valid concession or exemption to park applied, the PCN was issued in error or if there is strong mitigation for the cancellation of the PCN, such as if the PCN was incurred in circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the motorist.
Our consideration of PCN challenges is underpinned by the following consideration 'principles':
- Common sense approach
Consideration should be based on logic and common sense.
- Merits of the case
The circumstances surrounding a particular PCN are unique and therefore each PCN should be considered on its own merits.
- Genuine mistakes, mitigation and discretion
Any PCN can be cancelled if the mitigation put forward by the motorist is deemed strong enough to warrant it. Cases should be considered objectively and discretion can be given where it is evident that the motorist made an honest attempt to park legally/correctly but made a genuine mistake in doing so, incurring the PCN in the process, or that the PCN was issued in circumstances beyond the motorist's reasonable control.
The enforcement action and any subsequent decision to uphold or cancel the PCN upon challenge should be fair, proportionate, reasonable and justifiable.
- Full consideration of evidence and the 'balance of probabilities'
All relevant evidence should be fully considered as appropriate before a decision is made. Unlike criminal law where the standard of proof is 'beyond a reasonable doubt', civil law is based on the 'balance of probabilities'. Decisions should therefore be based on an evaluation of the weight of the evidence, some of which may be contradictory, and should favour that which is most persuasive or compelling.
- Legal and policy framework
All consideration should have regard to legislation, case law and to City Council policy, as well as to any likely adjudicator response.
- Driver/vehicle history
Both driver and vehicle histories should be checked to see if either has a history of incurring similar PCNs and whether discretionary cancellations have been granted previously.
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