You need to respond to the council in writing before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the penalty charge (deemed to be 2 working days from the date of the Charge being posted). There is a section of the form which can be used to set out your response. At this point, copies of all evidence must also be sent in.
These are the grounds on which you can challenge your PCN:
1. The contravention did not occur. For example:
· The signs and lines were wrong
· The PCN was not served
· The events alleged did not happen
· The vehicle was entitled to park
o Loading/unloading was taking place
o A passenger was boarding/alighting
o A valid disabled person's badge was displayed
o A valid pay-and-display ticket or permit was displayed.
2. The penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case.
This means that the council has asked for more than it was entitled to under the relevant Regulations.
3. The relevant Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is invalid.
This means that the TRO was invalid or illegal.
4. There has been a procedural impropriety by the council.
This means that the council has not complied with the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA) or the relevant regulations.
· The PCN or some other document did not contain the required information
· The council did not respond to a challenge or responded too late
5. In the case of a PCN served by post on the basis that someone prevented the CEO from serving the PCN, the CEO was not so prevented.
6. The appellant did not own the vehicle when the alleged contravention occurred.
· They never owned it
· They sold it before or bought it after the date of the contravention. The appellant should provide information about the transaction including the new or former owner's name and address, if known.
· Some long-term leasing arrangements have the effect of transferring keepership from the registered keeper to the hirer.
7. The owner is a vehicle hire firm and:
(i) the vehicle was on hire under a qualifying hiring agreement; and
(ii) the hirer had signed a statement of liability for any PCN issued during the hire period.
This ground applies only to formal hire agreements where the hirer has signed an agreement accepting liability for penalty charges. The requirements are specific. They are contained in Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic (Owner Liability) Regulations 2000 and Section 66 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. The appellant should provide the hirer's name and address and a copy of the agreement. (see legislation)
8. The vehicle was taken without the owner's consent.
This ground covers stolen vehicles and vehicles used without the owner's consent. It could apply, for example, to a vehicle taken by "joy-riders". It does not generally apply to vehicles in the possession of a garage or borrowed by a relative or friend. If possible, the appellant should supply a Crime Reference Number from the police.
9. The penalty has already been paid:
(i) in full; or
(ii) at the discount rate and in time.
The council will then consider your representations. If they are successful, the PCN is cancelled and you pay nothing. If the challenge is unsuccessful, the owner will be sent a Notice of Rejection (NOR) and a Notice of Appeal (NOA) - a form to be filled in and submitted to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.