Grounds for not accepting a challenge or appeal for a PCN

For your guidance, the following are examples of some of the common excuses that are not considered acceptable reasons to cancel a Penalty Charge Notice

“I only left my car parked without displaying a Pay and Display ticket because I went to a shop to get change to put in the machine”

Unfortunately, as soon as you leave your vehicle unattended, other than to go to the meter/Pay and Display machine to get a ticket, you are deemed to have parked.  Motorists should arrive with change they need to use the machine, if they intend to park in these spaces. 

“I only stopped for a minute”

You are not allowed any time at all unless the reason you have stopped is a permitted reason.  For example you cannot simply stop on a yellow line to 'pop' into a shop, withdraw cash or similar, you should find a legal parking place for this. Civil Enforcement Officers will observe a vehicle to determine if the vehicle has stopped for a permitted reason, but as soon as it is obvious this is not the case a penalty charge notice will be issued.

“I was only a few minutes late back after my meter/Pay and Display ticket ran out because I was delayed in the bank, dentist etc”

It is the motorist's responsibility to buy enough time to cover the duration of the parking time required, allowing for any possible over-running of meetings or appointments

“I'm new to the area and didn’t know about the restrictions/I thought I was parked legally, but I made a mistake”

When you park, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are doing so legally and to read and obey the signs and road markings

“My car broke down”

When driving, it is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and will not break down. 'Foreseeable' problems such as running out of petrol/water/oil/brake fluid, or problems that have been happening for a while, e.g. not being able to start the vehicle, are no excuse and so you will still be liable for the PCN.  Emergency problems such as flat tires, collisions or the engine falling out can, at the Council's discretion, be accepted as valid reasons for cancelling your PCN - in this circumstance, when you write to us please include a garage invoice or recovery sheet from a breakdown service as proof that your vehicle required work

“I am the owner of the vehicle but it wasn't me who parked there”

If you are the registered owner or keeper of the vehicle, then you are responsible for the PCN and must pay it. However, you will have the opportunity to notify us of the driver of the vehicle when you receive the Notice To Owner letter from us.  If your vehicle was stolen when the PCN was issued then the PCN will normally be cancelled, provided you produce a Police Incident Number

“I keep forgetting to set the clock with my disabled badge”

Unfortunately it is a condition of the usage of your disabled badge that the clock should be set every time you use it and leave your car. That way the Civil Enforcement Officer knows that you are parked legally and when you will return.  Not setting the clock prevents the Civil Enforcement Officer from knowing when you will be back and so they must assume that you have parked for longer than the allowed time and will issue a PCN.

“I was only parked dropping off or picking up my child from school”

This department regularly receives calls from the police with regards to the safety outside all local schools, requesting that we enforce to ensure that parents do park correctly and in consideration of pedestrians and other motorists’ health and safety. Civil Enforcement Officers patrol schools on a regular basis to ensure the safety of the children. It is not permitted to park for an extended length of time to drop a child to school, over and above the time required for a child to board or alight the vehicle, although even this is not permitted on School Keep Clear markings. We would urge all parents to ensure that they arrive at school early enough to find a permitted parking space

What next  

You can now either pay the PCN or make an appeal