Penalty charge notices - appeals

If you've objected to your parking ticket and we have rejected your formal representation, you have 28 days from when we issued a 'Notice of Rejection' to make an appeal to the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

To make an appeal, complete the appeal form that we have sent to you along with your Notice of Rejection and send it to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

An appeal can be made on any one or more of the eight statutory grounds:

  • the contravention did not occur
  • the vehicle was taken without my consent
  • I was not the owner at the time the contravention occurred
  • we are the hire firm and have supplied the name of the hirer
  • the penalty exceeded the relevant amount
  • the Traffic Regulation Order was not valid
  • there has been a procedural impropriety
  • the penalty charge has already been paid

An adjudicator may only allow an appeal if one of the statutory grounds for appeal applies. Where a contravention has taken place but the adjudicator considers that the enforcement authority should have used its discretion to cancel the penalty charge, the adjudicator may refer the case back for the council to reconsider. Such cases are directed to the office of the council's chief executive to ensure that the case is given proper consideration on the facts presented without preconceptions.

A decision must be reached by the council within 35 days from service of the adjudicator's decision. If the council does not reach a decision within this period, it is deemed to have accepted the adjudicator's recommendation and must cancel the penalty charge. The council must have regard to the reasons given by the adjudicator for his/her recommendation. Where it does not accept the recommendation it must notify the adjudicator and the appellant of the reasons for its decision.

The traffic penalty tribunal

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal is a legal tribunal that gives motorists an opportunity to appeal to an independent body against the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). The independent adjudicator (experienced lawyers whose appointment has to be approved by the Lord Chancellor) will consider your appeal and make a decision that is binding on both you and us.

Impartial lawyers consider appeals by people who:

  • have been issued with penalty charge notices
  • have had their vehicles removed or clamped

They look at evidence by you and us to and make a fair and reasonable decision on whether the PCN should be enforced.

The service is free to you, funded by councils who each contribute towards running costs.

What happens when you appeal

When they receive your appeal, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal staff will make some basic checks. If everything is in order it will be registered as a formal appeal. After this, a number of things will happen:

You will be sent formal acknowledgement that your appeal has been received and registered. If you have asked for a postal decision, you will be notified of when your appeal is due to be decided.

The Council will be notified that an appeal has been lodged and will be given 21 days to submit our evidence. At the same time we will submit a copy of this evidence to you.

If you have asked for a personal appeal, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal staff will schedule it for the next appropriate hearing at the venue of your choice. They will give you at least 21 days notice of the date, time and venue location.

Postal hearings

In a postal appeal the adjudicator will consider the appeal based solely on the written evidence you and the council have supplied. A written decision will be sent to both parties, normally within a week of the case being decided.

Personal hearings

Personal hearings normally last about 20 minutes and are held in premises independent of the council. There are many different venues throughout England and Wales and you can choose the one that is most convenient for you.

In common with most other legal proceedings, parking appeals are open to the public. Anyone may attend as an observer, although this is rare. We may choose to send a representative although we may instead rely on their written submission alone.

Personal appeals are relatively informal. They are normally attended just by the adjudicator and a council representative. You will have the opportunity to put your case to the adjudicator and answer any questions they ask you. Although you are not required to give evidence under oath, all parties are reminded of their duty to tell the truth at all times.

You may choose to bring a relative or supporter with you to a personal appeal. Witnesses may also attend. Due to the informality of the proceedings, legal representation is rarely necessary.

Receiving a decision

The adjudicator will notify you of the decision and the reasons for it. If the case has been decided by postal evidence you, and the council, will receive a written decision normally within seven days of the decision being made.

At the end of a personal hearing, the adjudicator will usually give their decision there and then.This decision is confirmed in writing to you and the council, normally within seven days.

If you lose your appeal, you must pay the charge within 28 days of the adjudicator's written decision. If you fail to do so, the Council may continue enforcement proceedings against you.

Challenge the adjudicator's decision

The grounds on which an adjudicator's decision may be challenged are limited. Simply feeling unhappy with the decision is not a ground for a challenge.

A review of the decision may be granted if, for example, it is believed that an adjudicator may have wrongly interpreted or applied the law, or new evidence has come to light.

Such instances are extremely rare and either party must apply for a review within 14 days of the adjudicator's decision.

The only other challenge to an adjudicator's decision would be by application for judicial review in the High Court.

Claiming costs

The adjudicator has the power to consider an application for costs from either party. However this is extremely rare and if costs are ever awarded, the sums involved are modest.

Parking and Traffic Regulations outside London (PATROL)

We are a member of the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) Adjudication Joint Committee which publishes an annual statement of accounts which is subject to external audit.

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