Penalty Charge Notices

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.

A PCN system is in operation in Stratford-on-Avon District Council car parks for the contraventions listed below. These contraventions are displayed on signs in the car parks.

  1. Parking for longer than the period paid for
  2. Parking without displaying a valid ticket
  3. Parking without paying the appropriate charge for the type of vehicle
  4. Parking outside any of the marked bays designated for parking
  5. Parking in bays marked as 'Disabled' without displaying a valid Blue Badge
  6. Parking in a bay reserved for a different class of vehicle
  7. Camping or remaining in occupation overnight of a caravan or caravanette
  8. Leaving an unhitched caravan or trailer in the car park
  9. Leaving the engine of a stationary vehicle running for more than five minutes
  10. Parking for longer than the maximum period permitted
  11. Parking at any time other than during the opening time of the car park
  12. Parking, where parking is not permitted at any time
  13. Parking outside permitted restricted hours

Should you commit any of the above contraventions a Penalty Charge Notice may be issued.

The penalty charge is £70 / £50. If paid within 14 days of the PCN being issued, the penalty can be reduced to £35 / £25. If payment is made after this period the full amount will be applicable.

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:

If you Believe a PCN 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

Challenge, Representation & Appeal

Enforcement Policy

  • 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
  • You can view the Civil Parking Enforcement Guidance Policies regarding off-street enforcement and cancellation guidance


  • 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

Mitigating Circumstances

  • 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

Off-Street (Car Park) PCN Appeals

Since 1 November 2014, Wychavon District Council provides PCN processing for Stratford-on-Avon District Council. If you wish to enquire about a PCN, please use the contact details below:

On-Street PCN Appeals

Since 1 November 2014, Warwickshire County Council is 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:

Contact: The Parking team

Last updated on 25/10/2023