What is a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?
A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) can be issued to a vehicle that the Civil Enforcement Officer believes was parked in contravention of the Traffic Regulation Order.
Please note: If you have been issued with a Penalty Charge Notice, please do not ignore it. The following will explain your options.
Upon receipt of a PCN, there are two options available:
• Pay a Penalty Charge Notice, or
• Appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice.
The Penalty Charge Notice amount will be reduced by 50% if payment is received within 14 days from the date the PCN was issued. If payment is made after this period the full amount will be applicable.
What to do if you have been issued with a PCN that you believe to be unfair?
- If you do not wish to pay the PCN because you believe that it was issued unfairly or mitigating circumstances should be considered, you should write to the address provided on the back of the PCN.
- Where applicable, please provide any documentary evidence or other information that you believe will help us to fully consider your appeal.
- We will consider all of the circumstances and information provided and will write to you with a decision.
- If we believe that further information is required before making a decision we will ask you to provide this.
- Provided we receive your challenge within the 14 day discounted period, as detailed on the back of the PCN, your entitlement to the discounted payment will be protected whilst we consider your appeal.
- If the PCN remains unpaid and there is no response to enforcement notices issued, the charge will increase by 50%.
- Subsequently, if the PCN still remains unpaid, the Council can apply for a warrant to recover the debt which is then subject to recovery action by bailiffs.
- Substantial debt recovery costs can be incurred.
PCNs: Challenge, Representation & Appeal
- The Council's PCN enforcement policy does not apply a ‘one size fits all' approach and each case is carefully considered on its merits.
- There are three stages to be followed in the enforcement process. ‘Challenge' ‘Representation' and ‘Appeal'.
- A ‘challenge' to a PCN is an initial challenge or informal representation made after the issue of a PCN, but before a Notice to Owner (NTO) is issued. (NTOs are normally issued 28 days after the date of the PCN if payment has not been made).
- There is no legislative requirement on Councils to respond to challenges but in accordance with good practice guidelines, this Council has a policy of considering all challenges.
What to do if your challenge is rejected?
- If your challenge is rejected we will usually reinstate your entitlement to the discounted payment.
- If we are unable to agree that the PCN should be cancelled and you do not accept the Council's decision, you should not make payment but should wait for the NTO to be issued.
- You cannot make payment to secure the discounted payment and continue to challenge the PCN. If payment is made the matter is closed.
- The NTO will ask for you to either make payment of the PCN at the original amount or to make further representations. The grounds on which you can make representations are dictated by legislation and are clearly set out in the NTO.
- A representation is the formal representation against the PCN in response to an NTO.
- The NTO will always be served on the person identified by the DVLA as being the registered keeper/owner of the vehicle even it that person was not the driver.
- The Council must consider a formal representation and if unable to agree that the PCN should be cancelled, issue a notice of rejection and detail of how to make an appeal to an independent adjudicator at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
- In the absence of exceptional circumstances or other compelling reason, the discounted payment will not be reinstated.
Appeals to the adjudicator
- You will be provided with an online PIN if your representation is formally rejected on your Notice of Rejection (NoR). if you do not have access to the online service you can contact the Traffic Penalty Tribunal who will send you a form to complete manually.
- You must appeal directly to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal not the Council.
- The Council will be notified of your appeal by the Tribunal and will respond and send you a copy of its evidence.
- An independent adjudicator will be appointed to review all of the evidence and you will be offered the option of appearing before the adjudicator in person, having a telephone hearing or having your appeal considered in writing.
- The adjudicator's decision is final and binding on both parties.
- There is no charge for this service. Costs will only be awarded if the adjudicator considers that either side's actions in contesting the appeal have been frivolous or vexatious.
- The Council has a duty to enforce parking regulations and penalty charges incurred for contravening them.
- Against this, fairness dictates that it should consider mitigating circumstances brought to its attention.
- Strict audit accountability procedures however require us to seek corroboration if mitigating circumstances are put forward as an argument that a legitimately issued PCN should be cancelled.
Contact details for Off-Street (Car Park) PCN Appeals
Under a Service Level Agreement that commenced on 1st November 2014, Wychavon District Council provide the parking PCN notice processing for Stratford-on-Avon District Council. If you wish to enquire about a PCN, please use the contact details below:
Telephone: 01386 565009
Address: Parking Services, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6HX.
Contact details for On-Street PCN Appeals
From 1st November 2014, Warwickshire County Council are responsible for on-street parking services across Warwickshire. If you have any queries in relation to On-Street PCN Appeals, please use the contact details below:
Telephone: 0333 999 3332
Address: Parking Services, Warwickshire County Council, PO Box 43, Shire Hall, Warwick, CV34 4RL.