Friday 12th April 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

A number of people have started to receive replies they’ve made to the council about the Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) they’ve received. This article details the PCN procedure so you know what to expect and when.

Please do not ignore the PCN process because councils will get a judgment against you in court and will then appoint bailiffs to recover the money. A £25 PCN may end up costing you £500.

If you’re appealing because you’ve received a PCN whilst parked in Scarborough’s unenforceable Disc Zone, then we’ve written a template for your appeal.

Stage 1: Informal Challenge

You’ve had a PCN placed on your windscreen. At this stage you can contact the council to informally challenge the PCN you’ve received. This part of the procedure isn’t strictly necessary, but if you make an informal challenge to the council they must reject your challenge before it can move to Stage 2.

There are a strict set of reasons for challenging a PCN and those reasons are laid out below.

  • The contravention did not occur.
  • You were not the owner of the vehicle at the time the PCN was issued.
  • The vehicle was parked by someone in control of it without the owners consent.
  • The vehicle is owned by a hire firm who have supplied the name and address of the hirer.
  • The penalty exceeded the amount applicable in this case
  • There has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the Enforcement Authority.
  • The Traffic Order concerned is invalid.
  • The Penalty Charge has already been paid.

If you ignore Stage 1 of the PCN process it should automatically move onto Stage 2 without any intervention from you. The more astute among you will notice this piece of advice differs from the diagram produced by PATROL below. I believe a council cannot pursue a debt in a county court without first going to stage 2 of the PCN appeal process.

Stage 2: Notice To Owner

The Notice To Owner is the first formal part of the process. The Notice To Owner is sent to the Operator of the vehicle after the council pays the DVLA a fee to find out who the registered keeper is. You must challenge the PCN at this point and the council must reject your challenge before you can move to Stage 3.

You may wish to reread the article where the Traffic Penalty Tribunal declared that Scarborough’s Disc Zone was declared “an inelegant mess” and consequently “unenforceable“.

Stage 3: Appeal To Independent Adjudicator

If you are adamant the council has issued the PCN incorrectly, then you must appeal the council’s formal response to your PCN challenge and take it to the final stage, the Independent Adjudicator. The Independent Adjudicator is appointed by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

You may find this diagram produced by PATROL useful in visualising the PCN appeals process.


Updated 06/01/2017 with additional information regarding PCN appeal process.

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