Challenging a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)
How to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)
You can contest a Penalty Charge Notice if you believe that you have been 'booked' unfairly. However, if the mistake is yours, you are unlikely to be successful in your appeal.
If you appeal a PCN and lose, you can still pay the penalty at the discounted rate, as the discount will be held until a decision is made. If your appeal is rejected you will still have 14 days to make the payment. You cannot pay at the discounted rate and appeal later. Once payment is made the matter is considered closed.
All communication to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice must be made in writing. Please do not telephone, as we are unable to accept challenges, evidence or appeals made over the telephone.
If you believe that the Penalty Charge Notice you received should not have been issued or that there are special reasons why it should be cancelled, the following notes explain the appeals procedure.
There are three stages of appeal:
- Stage 1
- Online using the Challenge Form available here.
- By post or email using the Challenge Form (PDF download).
- In person at the Customer Service Centre.
- Stage 2
- These must be made in writing, using the form provided;
- You will need to tick one of the six boxes on the form and tell us anything else which you dispute about the charge;
- You can send additional evidence or continue on a separate sheet but please keep to the facts in the case.
- Stage 3
If you have received a Penalty Charge Notice that you do not think should have been issued, please write as soon as possible to Ipswich Parking Services.
Tell us as much as you can about why you think the ticket should be cancelled, explaining your reasons for dispute. Ensure that your challenge remains related to the case.
Please provide us with as much evidence as you can to support your claim. Make your challenge using full facts and details, but do keep this relevant to the case.
You can submit your challenge in one of the following ways;
When you write to us to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice, we investigate the points raised in your letter and make a decision as to whether or not the Penalty Charge Notice must be paid.
We will let you know as soon as we can - usually within 14 days. Our letter will give details of what to do next, and the further options open to you.
If your letter is received by us within the 14 days allowed for payment of the Penalty Charge Notice at the discount rate, and even if we do not cancel or waive the ticket, we will 'hold' the discount and allow you another 14 days to pay at the discounted rate.
You will be able to make further representations at a later date but you must now wait until we send the Notice to Owner document (see Stage 2 below).
Following initial correspondence, if required a Notice to Owner document will be sent to you.
You can only make formal representations to the Council after you have received a Notice to Owner document. There are several grounds on which representations may be made and details of these are given on the document sent.
The Notice to Owner explains how to make formal representations against a Penalty Charge Notice:
When you make formal representations against a Penalty Charge Notice we investigate the charge against any evidence we have, and make a decision as to whether or not the Penalty Charge Notice must be paid.
In making its decision, the Council will consider if, on the evidence available, it considers that a contravention of parking regulations had occurred. The Council has to consider any mitigating circumstances, and may exercise discretion even if it considers a contravention has occurred.
We will let you know our decision in writing as soon as we can - usually within 14 days. If the ticket cannot be cancelled and the Council rejects the formal representations made, a Notice of Rejection will be sent with details of how to appeal to an independent adjudicator at a tribunal (see stage 3 below).
If you still have a dispute after the Council has issued a Notice of Rejection, you may appeal to the parking ajudicator at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (formally known as NPAS), using the forms that are sent to you. You cannot appeal to the Parking Adjudicator until you have been told by the Council that your representations have been rejected.
The Traffic Penalty Tribunal is a totally independent appeal service and is free to motorists. All Traffic Penalty Tribunal appeals are dealt with by experienced lawyers who are independent to the Council. It has been set up to ensure that unresolved legal disputes between the motorist and the Council can be heard at a formal tribunal hearing.
You may choose whether to attend the hearing in person or whether you deal with it by post. Telephone appeals are also being trialled.
The Adjudicator's decision is final and binding upon both you and the Council. In some circumstances, the Adjudicator may refer cases where he/she feels more discretion could have been used, back to the Council in question.
You can find out more about the Traffic Penalty Tribunal parking adjudicators by visiting the Traffic Penalty Tribunal website.
- PATROL website - What to consider before appealing against your PCN;
- Traffic Penalty Tribunal website;
- PATROL website - Full list of Contravention codes;
- Department for Transport website - Traffic Management Act 2004.
Last Updated: Friday 6th December 2013
Penalty Charge Notice Information
Parking Services - Penalty Charge Notices (PCN)
PCN Automated Payment Line: 01473 433777 (24 hrs a day)
Address: PO Box 668
Ipswich IP1 9AS
Tel: 01473 432845/432846
Fax: 01473 432836
Email: Send us an email