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Parking tickets: how to appeal against themBack

Everyone hates a parking ticket, but most of us will have been landed with at least one during our driving careers. In fact, if you received a ticket last year, you were among 6.8 million other drivers who also found themselves landed with one as quoted by the Telegraph.co.uk.

The Telegraph.co.uk also stated that parking fines have increased by 0.3 million in the past year, despite that fact that the amount of traffic wardens on the roads has now been cut by five per cent.

Insurance company Swiftcover has quoted that the amount of tickets issued in 2011 equates to one ticket being issued every 4.6 seconds, raising a total of £234 million.

A lot of people who are issued parking tickets do not believe that the ticket is justified, in fact it has been revealed that as many as one in four tickets are disputed, with a 39 per cent success rate being achieved.

This is a welcoming statistic if you are thinking about petitioning against a parking ticket, I know I have definitely challenged a couple in the past, and I was let off one of them, so it is well worth giving it a try if you think the penalty is unjust.

One of the main reasons why people fail to appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is down to the fact that they don’t know whether they are in the wrong or not, but yesterday the Telegraph online issued a handy guide on how to appeal. See below for some of the points covered:

Gathering evidence

Martin Lewis from the popular website, Moneysavingexpert.com suggests that you gather as much evidence as possible from the scene where the PCN was issued. For example, take photos of the scene or any obstructions, unclear road signs etcetera which might be the cause of your ticket. Even gather witness statements if you can.

Making the appeal

Start by making an informal appeal either by letter or online. Explain why you’re challenging the ticket and submit copies of evidence. Include your address, vehicle registration number and PCN number. It is also well worth making sure you appeal immediately as although you actually have 28 days in which to make an informal appeal, if you apply within the 14 day discount period a reduced rate of 50 per cent is normally offered. This way, if you eventually lose your battle, you should still only be required to pay the discounted 14 day rate.

The decision

The council will then either accept or reject your challenge and you’ll be given a further 28 days in which to appeal which is known as making formal representations. If this is unsuccessful, you’ll get a Notice of Rejection of Representations letter. You then have 28 days to lodge an appeal with the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal. At this point, it’s worth looking at the various grounds for appeal to see if it is worth you taking things further or simply cutting your losses and paying the fine. The Telegraph.co.uk has listed ten different grounds for appeal displayed below:

  1. The contravention didn’t occur: e.g. unclear/misleading signs, non-visible markings, or the ticket not being issued
  2. The penalty exceeded the relevant amount – the council asked for more than it was entitled to
  1. The Traffic Regulation Order was invalid, e.g. the council added a new restriction, such as a yellow line, without following procedures
  2. A procedural impropriety – maybe the PCN didn’t contain the required information
  3. The vehicle was taken without owner’s consent
  4. The person wasn’t the owner when the alleged contravention occurred
  5. The council says the PCN was served by post because the traffic warden was prevented from giving the ticket, but this didn’t happen
  6. The owner is a vehicle hire firm
  7. The PCN has already been paid
  8. Mitigating circumstances, e.g. health issues or vehicle breakdown.

If you are still unsure whether to appeal against a PCN, you can gain further information by visiting the direct.gov.uk or adviceguide.org.uk. Good luck!

 

Posted by Leana Kell on 29/08/2012