James Walker, Consumer Champion explains how to deal with Parking Tickets and ways in which you may be able to get your ticket overturned.
We all hate getting parking tickets, but sometimes it just happens. And sometimes it can really feel a bit unfair. So how can you appeal, and when can you do so? Well, this is where I admit to a spot of self-promotion, because from this week a new system is launching that will make it simpler and quicker to appeal council-issued parking tickets – and we at Resolver.co.uk have helped to develop it.
Using the new online portal, you can appeal to have council decisions overturned via a service called the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT).
Using TPT, people who receive a Penalty Charge Notice for parking or bus lane contraventions in England (outside London) can appeal the fine via their smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC, rather than the age-old and slow process of submitting paper copies in the post. They’ll even be able to upload videos and photographic evidence.
But when can you fairly challenge a parking ticket?
How To Challenge A Council-Issued Parking Fine
If you have received a If you have received a parking ticket, if it is headed with “PCN” or “Parking Charge Notification”, this will have been issued by your Local Council and this who any appeal should be made and you can use Resolver to make this process simpler.
Parking Bay Suspended
If a parking bay is suspended and you park in another bay or that bay and have received a ticket, you may be able to claim, if the details of the bay suspension is incorrect (e.g. wrong road name) or if the sign is not visible.
If you had arrived and were there within the first 3-minutes, so you were getting a ticket or finding the machine, you can appeal but the decision will depend upon the Council, however, as it is reasonable to take time to purchase a ticket it is reasonable to appeal on these grounds.
However, if you have left to go and get change this is not a reasonable reason for appealing.
No Returns Within A Time Period
This means you cannot go back to the parking zone for the period of time. If the track warden has taken your number plate down and you have received a ticket, this how a low chance of appeal unless you they have incorrectly taken down your number plate or you observed the sign. Use your parking tickets as evidence of this.
If the meter is broken or covered you cannot park there during the controlled hours. For pay and display you should use an alternative machine near by that operates under the same times and charges.
If you have parked in a parking bay and have received a parking ticket for being parked in the incorrect bay, then, you can appeal the ticket, if the signs displaying the information were not clear or visible.
Parking Outside of The Bay
If you have parked outside of a bay or parking space then you are liable for a ticket. This can be even one wheel outside of the bay or partially out. If you are partially out you can consider appealing but there are limited chances of success.
If your vehicle is more than 50cm from the pavement then you are also liable for a ticket.
Ticket Not Visible
If you have bought a ticket and it was not visible, as an example it has fallen off of the dashboard then you can appeal this, and it will depend on the discretion of the Council. If you appeal in this circumstance is it extremely unlikely that you will succeed.
Single Yellow Line
If you parking on a single yellow line, there are parking restrictions for a limited period of time. You should read the signs in the area for when these are. The signs should be clear and visible and explaining the parking restriction times. If these were not visible then you have grounds to make an appeal.
Double Yellow Line
If you have parked on a double yellow line then there are limited grounds for appeal. Double yellow lines are no parking at anytime. Sometimes you may be able to stop to load or unload but no more than that. If there are two stripes on the curb at regular intervals then you have no rights to unload or load at this point. The same is also true if the lines are red.
Blue Badge Holder
If you have a blue badge you are allowed to park in parking meter and pay and display car parks for free. Blue badge holders are also not allowed to be clamped.
Blue Badge On Yellow Lines
A Blue Badge holder is able to park on single or double yellow lines for up to 3-hours unless there zone is exempt from unloading or loading. This can be seen by 2 stripes on the pavement at regular intervals.
If you have received a parking ticket and there were mitigating circumstances then you can appeal your ticket. These include:
- Car broken down
- Tending an emergency or clearing debris from the road
- Dropping off an ill patient at hospital
- Recent bereavement
- Attending a funeral
- A bay is suspended but your car was already parked there
If these are the case then you should provide as much evidence to support your argument.
Someone Else Was Driving The Car
If your car was stolen then you should submit in your appeal a copy of your crime reference number as evidence that the parking ticket is not your responsibility.
Otherwise the parking ticket is the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle and not who was driving it.
Driving A Motorbike/Scooter
Are subject to the same restrictions as a car or van. There are some Councils that offer discounts for bikes or free designated spaces.
My Car Has Been Clamped/Towed Away
There are no rules on if you simply receive a ticket, your car is clamped or towed away. If you car is not there call the Police and also the local Council and you can contact your Council via Resolver.
In London you can also call Trace (24-hours a day) this is run by all the London Local Authorities and you can contact them on 0845 206 8602.
If you feel this approach was too harsh you can appeal and claim the approach was excessive and why were you simply not given a ticket. However, if you were blocking a busy road or in a narrow road the Council can argue that it was not safe to leave your vehicle there.
Cannot Afford To Pay
If you do not pay then this will become a debt and you the Council will pass this over to a debt collection agency to recover the debt. It is therefore really important that you pay the fine as otherwise the costs that you are liable for will rack up.
Paid The Fine And Want To Appeal
Once you have paid you have effectively admitted and taken responsibility and so you cannot appeal the ticket.
Should You Appeal?
If you pay the fine within 14 days then it is half the charge so it is worth considering paying if you know you are in the wrong. If you appeal then it should also be able half the fine if you pay within 14-days of losing the appeal, but, not all Local Authorities follow this rule so you will need to check. Of appeals made, over 50% are successful.
Written by James Walker Fighting For Your Rights! Consumer Champion – the man who helps you resolve your consumer complaints! James Walker is the founder of online complaint-resolution tool Resolver.co.uk Follow James via @resolvercouk, or email [email protected]